The Ruckus - 'Nothing To Lose'

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The Ruckus - 'Nothing To Lose'

Debut album by the band from Aberdeen.

It’s been a long time since the city of Aberdeen has produced a hard rock band capable of making a dent in the UK music scene. By my reckoning you have to think back to progressive rockers Pallas as being the last truly great hard rock outfit to come out of the Granite City and that was more years ago than I care to remember. Well my friends I think the wait is over with the arrival of The Ruckus and their debut album ‘Nothing To Lose’ who, in my opinion, have the talent and most of all the chops to go all the way.

The Ruckus were formed by childhood friends Chris Walker (vocals), Phil Shearer (guitar) and Ian Pirie (bass) who drafted in second guitarist Bob Christie and Dave Leslie on drums to complete the line up. Having started out as a covers band they quickly graduated to writing their own material and have already put in a lot of roadwork throughout the UK supporting the likes of Gerry Jablonski & The Electric Band, The Loreli and The Brothers Reid. This brought them to the attention of Aberdeen based label Fat Hippy Records who swiftly snapped them up. The Ruckus then entered the studio with local music impresario Captain Tom, the end result being an album that has not left my CD player since the first time I heard it.

The Ruckus play traditional, bluesy, riff based hard rock that is reminiscent of acts such as Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Guns N’ Roses or even The Scorpions. It’s clear from the first few bars of the balls out opener ‘Bad Man’ that guitarists Shearer and Leslie are undoubtedly influenced by Slash by showing real depth and feel in their rhythm playing. On ‘Runnin’ With The Wolves’ they add some twin melody guitars into the mix to great effect on what is another cracking track with an impressive, anthemic gang vocal chorus. I can see this one being a real live favourite! ‘Nothin’ To Lose’ has a fantastic groove and swagger to it as well as another hooky chorus and would sit shoulder to shoulder with anything on the recent debut album by Red White & Blues. The standout track for me though is ‘Damage Done To Beautiful Eyes’. Its killer riff and more complex arrangement gives Chris Walker a chance to show off his clean soulful voice on what is the best vocal melody on the whole record.

Sure some of the songs feel a little jam based in places and are maybe a bit too reliant on the riff to provide the melody but better song craft will come in time as the talent is well and truly there. I really do believe that if they can distil their song writing abilities further then, just like a good Scottish single malt whiskey, The Ruckus can mature into something very special indeed. In the meantime though this will do very nicely!

Alister Strachan

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