Kim Fowley, maniac former manager of The Runaways, once said “rock and roll is a nuclear blast of reality in a mundane world where no-one is allowed to be magnificent.” This review won't be getting too deep into the “mundane world” part of that quote; instead let's focus on the “nuclear blast of reality” that lies in store for all listeners of the debut album from Melbourne's unashamed and uncompromising retro-rockin' soul slingers The Delta Riggs.
The hard-rockin' quintet have already stood out from the crowd with one of the most exciting live shows on the circuit in recent years, and with three EPs already under their belts, the time is right for a debut album to satisfy our rock needs, and what a debut album it is. The self-produced Hex.Lover.Killer is a barrelling, rip-roaring romp from start to finish, and rocks harder and better than anything in recent months, making it easily one of the most exciting releases of 2013 so far.
Opener 'Stars' shows that while The Delta Riggs appear at first to be a fairly straight-forward rock band, there is diversity on this album to keep you entertained throughout, and for repeated listens. The bass-riff heavy track sets the pace, then the excellently groovy 'America' takes things up another notch, with the first few bars sounding like Rocket Science's 'Being Followed'.
'Scratch Flower' is another kick-ass rock track, and 'Fiend*' has shades of a Chili Peppers intro and '70s classic rock behemoths Mountain, which can only be a good thing. The lads have never been scared to chuck in a bit of a rock ballad; and it comes (kind-of) in the form of 'Perfume and Lace'. There's even an instrumental track in the form of the four-minute 'Save It Til The Morning' – epic.
The boys will proudly tell you (via the holy medium of Facebook) that their single 'Rah Rah Radio' was the eighteenth most played track on Triple J last week – a pretty damn good result for a straight-up blues-rock band ploughing their way through an increasingly electronic and folk-heavy play-list on the airwaves.
The album is rounded out by the Guns 'N' Roses via Free-esque track 'Something Creeping', which comes complete with epic guitar solo and appropriate levels of harmonica, and the dirtily funky 'Better'.
Rock 'n' roll is here to stay, and Hex.Lover.Killer is making it happen. Good luck not wearing out your repeat buttons.