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Riverdogs - World Gone Mad

posted 20 Feb 2012, 14:36 by Paul Woodward   [ updated 20 Feb 2012, 14:49 by Woody ]
(Melodic Rock Records)

Review By Woody

I took a punt on this album even though I was unaware of the band’s sound based on the cult popularity of the band’s 1990 debut album and the fact that their guitarist is Def Leppard alumni Vivian Campbell. I think this is the original line-up too bar drummer Marc Danzeisen who joins Vivian Campbell (Guitars), Rob Lamothe (Vocals) & Nick Brophy (Bass).

World Gone Mad went straight over my head and I found very little to recommend about it. I’m not sure if this is the original sound of the band or what they have developed into, but it lacked any hooks or choruses that made me want to re-listen to it. I’d say the nearest thing to compare it to is Americanised modern melodic rock of the 90’s and early 00’s akin to Matchbox 20, Gin Blossoms, Goo Goo Dolls but with maybe a dash of Train.

There is a few Def Leppard-isms to the guitar playing, but it’s nothing like the Lep’s if that makes sense. I’m not sure what the band was trying to achieve with this album, maybe fitting their style to a modern audience? I feel perhaps a retro album may have benefitted them more. I also have to say some of Rob’s occasional rap style singing was a total turn off, which I suppose didn’t help the songs grab me.

Only two songs on the album are really worth mentioning in my opinion. ‘Just A Little Higher’ is an acoustic driven ballad is without a doubt the stand out track with a nice Americana feel and memorable chorus. The other track is ‘Glitter Town’ which is an upbeat Americana tune.

It seems that the best records to check out on Melodic Rock Records are those with no ties to the past as a lot of the albums on the label that do have left me disappointed, although this is bar far the worst. It’s also a real shame that the bands with no ties to the past are probably the smallest selling when there are outstanding slices of melodic rock with a modern slant. The albums from Fenrik Lane, Degreed and the amazing All I Know are not just solid albums but are also thoroughly enjoyable. Do yourself a favour and pick up an album by one of the above bands rather than this, because to be honest I can only see die hard Riverdogs fans liking World Gone Mad.

Track Listing: World Gone Mad / Big Steel Town / Best Day Of My Life / Just A Little Higher / For You / This Empty Room / Glitter Town / No Matter What (Live)

Album Rating: 3/10

Woody’s Essential Track: Just A Little Higher