[ALBUM REVIEW] Rose Carleo Band – Battle Scars


Into The Fray
Faded Tattoo
Battle Scars
Coat Tail Rider
Last Day Alive




Reviewed by Casper of Rohan

With mere days to wait until Rose Carleo and her troupe of hard rockin’ troubadours release their much anticipated EP Battle Scars it is high time we batten down the hatches, bubble wrap the good china, cover the children’s ears and give this beauty a thorough lap or two around the aural track.

The band consist of Mick Adkins on guitars and backing vocals, Steve King on Bass Guitar, the mighty Mick O’Shea giving the kit a thorough pummelling and the voice that brings our rocking rabble into line and the tunes together, our rose clad Les Paul welding mistress of musical mayhem herself, Rose Carleo.

From the opening notes of Into the Fray, a hooky riff within twenty seconds and a screech of ‘c’mon’ from Rose, we are launched into what we are already assured will be a blues infused, rock sensation with a little smack on the ass of country appeal.  The first element waving itself high and with all the ‘look at me’ of a topless shoulder surfer at a festival is the live show allure the band have managed to cram into this killer collection.  With minimal outside production intervention the band have ‘bottled’ the elusive aural appeal of the in person performance, albeit with the finest sound system I’ve ever witnessed, but you get the idea.

With all band members wearing their aussie rock heritage out, tanned and proud just like…well…a…Faded Tattoo this track smacks me right in the chest.  Having just spent a very emotive couple of hours with Angry Anderson and Mark Evans, coupled with my preparations to accompany the lads through a few shows of the Blood Brothers Tour, this dedication to the late greats Pete Wells and Mick Cocks will tug at the heart strings of any aussie rock aficionado, but is a solid performer in its own right.  It’s entirely possible I’m biased but I thoroughly enjoy this Rose Tattoo esque number.

Battle Scars and Coat Tail Rider are both written by the entire band with the other offerings being penned by the traditional team of Rose and Mick.  The former expands our exploration of the bands tremendous capability, skill and experience with every element and instrument, shining in equal measures.  Alright Mick…maybe the killer riff edges ahead a little.  Thoroughly rocking but with a slightly softer side to roses delivery.  It is brilliantly constructed with the temptation for any element to run off unchecked resisted and a perfect balance is maintained.

But while highlighting band tremendous sound appeal, get your ears around Coat Tail Rider and try to pinpoint where you have heard the elements before.  This is no copy of anything else, but its littered with elements of appeal that ranges from what sounds initially like Gary Glitter’s Rock n Roll on ‘roids to a soaring heavy blues classic with more hooks than Geoff himself.  And all of this sensational sound on an EP?  Damn.

Last Day Alive is fairly self-explanatory but the manner in which it is delivered actually lifts your spirits phenomenally and has you singing along, nodding to the sensational drum beat , swaying to the sensational rhythm and giving the ‘riffage’ all the air guitar you can muster.  You’ll be rocking this like it’s your last day alive, but don’t do it at the red light like yours truly, lest ye too be met with inquiries as to your state of mental welfare.

This EP is an absolute cracker, crammed with rock appeal and oozing melodic magnetism, sequenced to perfection because you are looking for another ten tracks trying to will it into an album.  Oh well…press play again and keep fingers crossed.  Perhaps we will be blessed soon by a full length installment from this fantastic band.