Album Review: The Roughneck Riot – “Out Of Anger”
Second album from these Warrington firebrands, following on from 2012’s This Is Our Day (which actually made it into my Top 10 albums of that year as I remember) and it’s heartening to report that it finds them consolidating on their progress so far, and doing it in style. Essentially, imagine if The Levellers hadn’t lost all their creative fire some time around 1997 or so and had instead got even meaner, leaner and punkier with age.
While This Is Our Day was a damning indictment of the state of Britain in 2012, Out Of Anger sees The Roughneck Riot turning their vitriol loose again on the last two years of lies, deceit and general screwing over that the current government has given us, as evidenced on opening tracks Animosity, Parasites and Resistance. It’s Celtic influenced punk (mandolin, accordion and banjo all present and correct) with fire, anger and a serious point to make. The anti-Dropkick Murphys if you will. “Stand up and say it’s not okay for them to take your voice away!” they snarl on Resistance, and you can’t help but nod in agreement.
Along the way, they ferociously tackle press corruption (England’s Desperate Liars), the lack of bands willing to stand up and make a protest against the harmful politics of the Coalition (Should We?), fox hunting (This Green And Unpleasant Land) and the despair at how depoliticised the youth of today are becoming (The Last Of Us). In short, it’s an album which isn’t scared of giving a clarion call to the disaffected, something which is much needed in this day and age.
A solid follow up to This Is Our Day, Out Of Anger cements The Roughneck Riot's place as one of the best politico-punk bands in Britain today. If you miss the days when The Levellers were seen as genuinely dangerous political firebrands, rather than a watered down parody of their former selves, then The Roughneck Riot might just be the band you've been waiting for. Either way, this album is well worth a listen.