Dead City Ruins – Never Say Die

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Reviewed: April 2018

Released: April 2018, AFM Records

Rating: 4/5

Reviewer: Alice Chant

Dead City Ruins are a highly focused, passionate band that have been on one mission for eight years now and that’s to play rock and roll. Australia has given the world some iconic bands that are global sensations and these guys want a piece of it. As big as Australia is, their rock and metal scene isn’t as strong as the UK and Europe. With Dead City Ruins realising this, they had to break new ground for the band to grow and begin to reach their full potential. Back in 2015, the Aussie quintet sold everything they owned and toured around Europe for 10 months successively. Upon their return home, they invested their hard earned cash and unstoppable ambition straight back into creating Never Say Die with a British Producer, James Lewis, formally of Arctic Monkeys and Sunset Sons. Dead City Ruins’ key objective is to go from being another pub band, to selling out stadiums. The ensemble took things even further and picked up not only the new record producer but also signed to a new label, booking agent and acquired fresh management. These guys are serious and will do anything it takes for success.

This album doesn’t beat around the bush or go on some weird, unnecessary tangent. It gets straight to the point and gives you exactly what you want from this genre – pure rock and roll with an exquisite groove. Jake Wiffen’s vocals are audacious and versatile, ‘Rust and Rain’ being an example of his effortless delicacy combined with the power behind his voice, which can be also be heard in the opening track ‘Devil Man’ and ‘Bones’. As always with a hard and classic rock album, you want a satisfyingly rhythmic, solid, crashing beat married with some sterling riffs and courageous solos throughout, this album surely delivers. You can hear and feel the love and gusto that these guys have for their music and how much they relish in playing it. It is clear that they are strikingly influenced by certain eras and genres. To me, I hear an affinity with Black Label Society, Wolfmother, Audioslave and Alice in Chains, combined with a touch of Aerosmith and Motley Crue. I think that Dead City Ruins have the potential to be named as a dominate force on the hard and classic rock scene if they continue to grow from strength to strength and keep the fury burning.

Never Say Die is a revitalising, modern take on classic, hard rock which is catchy and anthemic. Dead City Ruins are not trying to reinvent the wheel with this album but as a metal head, sometimes you need some music to scream at you, but also you want some hard rock that is an effortless, straightforward listen. This album makes me want to be at a festival, head banging, swinging my hips and singing along with a beer in my hand, perhaps even with a cheeky cigarette on the side. The question is, when are you coming to visit, boys?






  1. Devil Man
  2. Bones
  3. Dirty Water
  4. Rust And Ruin
  5. The River Song
  6. We Are One
  7. Destroyer
  8. Raise Your Hands
  9. Lake Of Fire

Band Line Up: 

Jake Wiffen (Vocals), Tommy Cain, (Guitars), Sean Blanchard (Guitars), Matthew Berg (Bass), Nick Trajanovski (Drums)