CD Cover Roach
Rockin' Rod Records

Review by Darren Kerr

44-second excerpt from "Nightmare Sessions" (343 Kb .au file)

Is Joe Jackson dead? If so, why haven't I heard about it? Ron Roach must've been quite close by when the man with white shoes stepped out for the last time, because he has been infused with the man's spirit. The similarities are staggering: compare "Is This Who We Are" with Jackson's "Biology." Spooky.

I like Joe Jackson, ergo I like Roach's rock/reggae/whiteboy funk hybrid. The first half of the disc is amazingly consistent, with the catchy "Nightmare Sessions" being the high watermark. Ron Roach is a clever guitar player who peppers each song with cool chord changes and riffs that play tag with your headphones. Rodney James Wawryk's keyboards never overstay their welcome, always working with the guitar and Doug Brown's boppy bass to create a thick pulse, and you know the drummer would have to be choice just to keep up. Lindsay Belloc is and does.

Only when the pulsating beat is missing does Roach lag into comparatively lax folk rock. Still, their misses are better than a lot of bands' hits. Overall, this disc was quite a surprise, as I was expecting some form of grunge pablum. Instead, this is a CD full of strong songs, good performances, excellent speaker separation and fine production.

I'll trade you ten Eddie Vedders for one Joe Jackson any day.

Artist Contact Info: #302, 955 W. 14th Ave, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V5Z 1R3

First published in Drop-D Magazine on December 20, 1996

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