Record review: Redcoats – Redcoats (2012, LP)

Having made their mark on the Australian music scene in 2011 with a debut EP of explosive psychedelic-tinged rock ‘n’ roll, Melbourne’s Redcoats now have an album that loudly and proudly announces their arrival as a potent rock force. Their sound could be called thunderous classic rock, and harks back to a time when guitar solos were never under five minutes in length, bell bottoms were de rigueur stage wear, and pairs of socks were more likely to be stuffed down the front of the singer’s jeans than worn on his feet. Gimmicks however, do not a rock band make, and thankfully Redcoats also possess the chops to carry off their chosen genre with aplomb. Frontman Emilio Mercuri has a voice that could bring down buildings, and the epic rock riffage doesn’t let up from opener ‘Raven’ to the sprawling nine minute closer ‘Mean Money’, with reference points ranging from rock heavyweights like The Who and Led Zeppelin, to latter day purveyors of the form, like The Answer. ‘House of Luna’ is a mid-album highlight as Mercuri flaunts his impressive range, before ‘Evergreen’ rolls out the guitar fuzz and an uncharacteristically funky bass line. No self-respecting rock album is complete without a token snake reference, and it comes in the form of seventh track ‘Serpent Charmer’, which starts as a creeping crawler of a number before the guitars kick in to make a singularly crushing wall of noise. There is a rawness and conviction throughout that let you know these guys mean business, and when combined with the group’s immaculate instrumentation, make for an epic rock album. (Island)

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