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Review: 'ROE SHAM BO'

-  Label: 'Bad Trip Recordings'
-  Genre: 'Rock' -  Catalogue No: 'RSB002'

Our Rating:
North London 2005 is an odd place and time to be releasing a generic rock album of super-distorted guitar attacks and acoustic soul-searchers. ROE SHAM BO are Ben Emslie, Lee Barker, Gareth Henman and Frosty The Drummer. Rock School Diplomas have ink that is barely dry and one cliché after another is expertly and enthusiastically hurled into the mix. Recovered lumps from a decade of Leeds/Reading headliners are buffed up and despatched with a deft facility. Your have to admire their innocent confidence.

In "Another Day" the mixture results in a recognisable and distinctive song that can hold its own against a whole generation of American bands who never stopped churning this stuff out. It’s as if Spinal Tap was a tribute not a piss take. I detect no spandex-clad irony. It's rather good.

Otherwise the tunes depend on inherited patterns and rote formulae. Lyrics are best left unheard and would be best unreported. But there is a very well produced 16 page booklet and I can/should offer a snippet: "oceans shifting greatly / it's making me wonder why / no one ever listens / they have no reason why / and I'll take what you leave forever". Incoherence and emo defeatism don’t fit too well with macho guitar strutting, that's for sure.

I just wish that young talented kids like ROE SHAM BO would leave IRON MAIDEN and chums to do this manly strutting stuff. Surely the duty of the young is to "take the music on" as Muddy Waters is supposed to have said. Nearly all the best cock rock tunes have already been written and recorded. These pale shadows do the kids' considerable instrumental talents a disservice. Their next band will surely look beyond Eric Cartman's South Park playground for a name, and Ben, Lee, Gareth and Frosty will turn their hands to more creative and original music.
  author: Sam Saunders

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ROE SHAM BO - [serotonin]