Rose Tattoo

Blood Brothers

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Outside of their native Australia, Rose Tattoo aren't as well known as their countrymen AC/DC -- and they haven't been together quite as long. AC/DC were formed in 1973, while Rose Tattoo's original lineup got started in 1976. But folks who really know hard rock inside and out will tell you that Rose Tattoo are a hard rock institution. They've had their challenges along the way, including numerous lineup changes and the deaths of no less than four members (Dallas "Digger" Royal in 1991, Pete Wells and Ian Rilen in 2006, and Lobby Loyde in 2007). But Rose Tattoo have kept performing and recording nonetheless, and Blood Brothers finds them in pleasingly good form in 2007 (the year of their 31st anniversary). The lineup on Blood Brothers consists of lead singer Angry Anderson, guitarists Mick Cocks and Dai Pritchard, bassist Stephen King, and drummer Paul DeMarco; Anderson and Cocks are the only ones remaining from the late '70s, but despite all the lineup changes over the years, Rose Tattoo's bluesy, dirty, rough-and-tumble sound (essentially a mixture of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, AC/DC, and the Faces) remains intact. Anderson turned 60 in 2007, but his in-your-face performances on gritty tracks like "Man About Town," "Sweet Meat," and "Black Eyed Bruiser" make it clear that he hasn't exactly mellowed with time. In fact, the Aussies haven't toned down their bikers-from-hell image one bit. Blood Brothers isn't among Rose Tattoo's essential releases, but it's a solid and consistent, if predictable, outing -- and longtime followers will be happy to know that they are still plugging away passionately after so many years in the hard rock trenches.

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