To say Hellions had set some pretty high expectations for themselves with Opera Oblivia would …
The debut album from Melbourne rocketeers Riff Raiders is, overall, pretty cool—snare-smacking rock and punching guitars riddle this release—but is Live Like You Mean It too cool?
The blanket reception toward Riff Raiders are that their homegrown brand of classic rock is enough to make the Aussie rock gods proud and that is, for the most part, true. Big riffs, bold vocals and carefully crafted lyrics pertaining to everything you’d expect from a classic rock sound, this album will have you playing it on repeat.
What’s lacking is a placid self-opinion seen in so many pub rock bands of old. At times, Riff Raiders, who clearly love what they do, are forcing that love in an almost unnatural way—just enjoy it, guys! You’ve got the talent, you’ve got the sound, now just roll with it. After all, what’s rock without the roll? Riff Raiders have nothing to prove, only that they can execute these songs where they’re worthy, on the live stage.
Perhaps that’s the issue with this release—by Skippy it’s good, and the album is coupled with some amazing video animations and epic album artwork, but the niggling sensation is that these songs weren’t meant for a studio environment, that they are best enjoyed live, where Riff Raiders can shine and let loose all that hard rock energy. Truly, it would be a sight to behold!
Look past the sometimes desperate tones and you actually have a potential entry into the halls of classic Aussie rock—if only Riff Raiders could believe it right across the board themselves.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Live Like You Mean It, Ain’t No Limit, If You Want My Love
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Def Leppard, Midnight Oil, Boston
Live Like You Mean It is out now. Riff Raiders play Sydney’s Vic On The Park, 7th December 2017.