DOOMSDAY OUTLAW - Hard Times
Release date: May 11, 2018 (Frontiers Music)
Hard Times is the sophomore release from the UK’s Doomsday Outlaw. After listening to this album I looked the band up, not being familiar with them, and was very surprised to find out they are Brits. I would have placed them as coming from the south-east US, but maybe that is just the sound they are going for. On my first listen, thoughts of Raging Slab kept coming to mind, with occasional hints of Blackfoot.
Regardless, this a strong piece of hard rock, tinged with blues and Southern Rock influences. The songs are well written and the production is top notch. Phil Poole’s vocals are talented, but not so smooth that they are devoid of interest and a bit of gruffness as required. Guitarists Steve Broughton and Gavin Mills show flashes of old school flair in both rhythm and leads.
The highlights include the title track which opens the album in fine form, reminiscent of the Four Horsemen. Another highlight is “Days Since I Saw the Sun” which is less heavy than most of the other songs on the album, but the change in pace is one of the reasons it stands out. Also of note is “Were You Ever Mine”, which sees the band break out of the usual mid-tempo groove with a bit of speed in the final minute.
There is no denying the quality of this effort, but too many of the songs are of the mid-tempo, hard rock-blues genre for my personal tastes. I prefer my hard rock with a bit more of a boogie edge (Molly Hatchet or the Cult on a good day). Still, for music fans who like to dial their music down to the hard rock level once in a while, this is definitely worth checking out.