Roaring Boys

Roaring Boys

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The specter of Roxy Music haunts "House of Stone," the most well-crafted song on Roaring Boys' self-titled debut album; unfortunately, the rest of the LP is a ghost town. With its bed of lush synthesizers, soothing horns, and romantic vocals, "House of Stone" could've been an apt sequel to Roxy Music's "Avalon." However, "House of Stone" is a burst of inspiration that must've left the band creatively drained, or perhaps they were rushed into the recording studio before they were able to compose equally memorable songs. Roaring Boys is an album without structure; the group keeps shifting gears, infatuated with the stylish new romantic pop of Roxy Music and Icehouse on some tracks and then trying to woo rock radio on others. "Wilder for You" and "Call the Tune" sound like generic mainstream rock from their unimaginative titles alone, while "Easier Said Than Done" is a weak attempt at a Joe Jackson knockoff. On the other hand, "Strange Girl" and "Persuasion" actually resemble the band that sang "House of Stone." On "Persuasion," vocalist Paul Michell sings beautifully over a piano without any hard rock guitars or studio slickness. The subtle arrangement suits him and the group. Roaring Boys are at their best when they're not trying to roar.

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