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Rose Tattoo
July 2002
Released: 2002, SPV
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

Where has the time gone? Seems like only yesterday that Angry Anderson was the vicious villain out to thwart Mel Gibson’s Mad Max in BEYOND THUNDERDOME. That was 1985 and it was the last that most anyone (on this side of the world) heard of Mr. Andersen. He and his mates in Rose Tattoo had the year before released the last of 4 CDs and then fell silent. There was a 1986 release, BEATS FROM A SILENT DRUM, but it bore little semblance to early RT and was released in Europe as an Angry Andersen solo disc. Formed in 1975 in Australia, Rose Tattoo quickly established a reputation as a hard drinking hard partying band. They gained fans in Bon Scott and Angus Young of AC/DC who often jumped onstage and performed with the band. Rose Tattoo released their first CD, ROSE TATTOO, in 1978 and followed it up with ASSAULT AND BATTERY (1981), SCARRED FOR LIFE, (1983) and SOUTHERN STARS (1984). The band then embarked on various solo and other projects. It wasn’t till 1993 that things fell together for Rose Tattoo once again when Guns n’ Roses asked the band to open their Australian tour. Guns had covered the Rose Tattoo classic “Nice Boys” on their LIVE.. LIKE A SUICIDE ep. Then in 1999 the Tats came to Europe and played a set at the Wacken Open Air festival which was recorded for the live 25 TO LIFE disc that was released in 2000. They are back now and in top form with their latest disc, PAIN. The lineup on this release is: Angry Andersen: vocals, Pete Wells: guitar, Rob Reilly: guitar, Steve King: bass and Paul Demarco: drums.

Rose Tattoo might not have released a proper CD since 1984 but these guys make it sound like they have only been away for months not years. This release is 16 tracks of whisky soaked, slide guitar infused, blues based, heavy rock and roll. Opening track “Black Magic” leaves no doubt that Rose Tattoo are back to kick some serious ass. The slow groover “The Devil Does it Well” is followed by the stomper “No Mercy”. At first the constant slide guitar was a little strange as it is a prominent part of almost every song but it is one of the things that gives Rose tattoo their unique identity. “Seventeen Stitches” is the story of growing up and going to the school of hard knocks. “Union Man” deals with the day in, day out work of the common man who asks for nothing more than an honest days pay for an honest days work. “Heat of the Moment” is the equal of, if not better than, anything that AC/DC has done in the last 10 years. “One More Drink With The Boys” signals the end of almost 60 minutes of mayhem from Australia’s rock n’ roll outlaws.

Rose Tattoo have created a disc full of tunes the likes of which have not been seen in a long time. The anger and attitude are still there after 26 years of creating music. Bands like Guns n’ Roses, Junkyard, Buck Cherry and Broken Teeth all owe a debt of gratitude to Rose Tattoo. It’s too bad that this band never reached the heights of success that they deserve after helping to create a sound that has become a cornerstone of hard rock for the last 25 years.
Track Listing






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