Album Review: Dead City Ruins – Never Say Die


Release Date: 13th April 2018

Label: Metalville Records

Genre: Hard Rock

Dead City Ruins are a rock five-piece from Melbourne, Australia. 2011 saw the release of the group’s debut album, Midnight Killer, throwing them full-force into the hard rock scene. In April 2014, the band’s self-titled album was released, leading them to play forty gigs in Europe alongside Skid Row and Ugly Kid Joe. Following the success of this tour, Dead City Ruins were left with an aim to go bigger and better, which is exactly what they did on this record.

Never Say Die kicks off with ‘Devil Man’, throwing us head first into the album with a guitar riff-ridden intro and a beat that can instantly get anyone headbanging, or at least aggressively nodding their head. The first we hear of Jake Wiffen’s vocals definitely do not disappoint. ‘Bones’, a song that just seems perfect for an action movie soundtrack, brings a catchy chorus that will likely stick in the listener’s head for a long while after it ends.

‘Rust and Ruin’ is a softer track, and although it picks up instrumentally throughout, seems like a song more befitting for a slow dance rather than a headbang. Aside from various instrumental breaks between the song’s verses, ‘The River Song’ doesn’t initially strike me as a hard rock track. The combination of lead and backing vocals gives this song a more soul-like feeling than rock, showing a cracking example of how Dead City Ruins are influenced by a range of different genres.

So far, the beat to every track on the record has had me tapping my feet on the floor and my fingers drumming on any near surface. ‘Raise Your Hands’ is no exception to this. Certain aspects of this song’s instrumental style leave me thinking of Foo Fighters, in particular their song The Sky Is a Neighborhood. The final track, ‘Lake of Fire’, shows the bands classic hard rock inspirations, such as that of Black Label Society. Swinging between soft and powerful vocals, combined with use of instruments, a dramatic effect is created. The vigorous instrumental climax of the album certainly left me wanting more, almost dreading the end of this impressive record.

Never Say Die is a mighty, riff-filled, creative album from an increasingly talented band. The incorporation of softer beats into heavy instrumentals show that Dead City Ruins are not like any typical hard rock band. Each track had me eagerly awaiting what the next one would bring, and the finale of the album left me wishing there was more to come. With the end of this exciting and intense third album, I’m eager to see what the future looks like for Dead City Ruins. I’m sure that old fans and new listeners are also enthusiastic to see what the band can bring to the table with their next release. My only criticism of what would have been a 10/10 record is that the band’s sound is repetitive throughout and the tune to each track didn’t show much variation. Nonetheless, this is a fantastic and lively album that every hard rock fan should hear.

Recommended Tracks: The River Song, Lake of Fire

Rating: 9/10

Buy Never Say Die here

To hear more from Dead City Ruins, check out their BandcampTwitterYouTube and Facebook.


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