London’s The Rocks are a stylish yet abrasive garage rock band led by brash frontman James Taylor, who, along with guitarist Sarah Bacon were inspired to get together after seeing At The Drive In.
The Rocks debut album ‘Asking For Trouble’ shares ATDI’s angry energy but not their direction nor cohesion. At times ‘Asking...’_ is an absolute mess: Taylor’s caterwauling spins wildly out of control over a maelstrom of thrashing guitars and drumming so out of time it may as well belong in a different week.
Very punk rock one might think, but sitting through ‘Asking For Trouble’ takes stamina of Herculean proportions. Indeed, if there were an event at this year’s Olympics for tuneless screeching, the likes of ‘Save The Wolf’ and the nerve shredding ‘Zafira’ would win gold.
Relief comes thanks to the Clash-style dub of ‘We Got It’, and the punk pop fizz of ‘Celeste’, on which Taylor comes close - but not close enough - to matching Pete Doherty’s endearingly shambolic singing.
It could be argued then, that if producer Marc Waterman had applied the same pop suss to ‘Asking For Trouble’_ as he did to Elastica’s eponymous debut album, this would have been a very different, and altogether more agreeable record. That he didn't is a real shame.
5Anthony Gibbons's Score