Press departments really should be more circumspect when it comes to unleashing their unrestrained hyperbole to a wider audience for they are at least as guilty of raising expectations sky high as the music press is, with the result that disappointment invariably results. Take Roll it over as a case in point. The band are a throw-back to the alternative bands of the mid-nineties, mixing one part Placebo to one part live and one part taproot – their crunchy, melodic rock sounding remarkably fresh in these modern, cynically pigeon-holed times. That, apparently, is not enough for the band’s press officer, however, who can’t resist talking about touches of 80s progressive and 70s arena rock despite such flourishes being largely conspicuous by their absence.
However, we are not here today to talk about what Roll it over are not, rather we’re here to consider the band’s not inconsiderable strengths. Opening with the charged guitars of ‘Memories’, ‘dawning on the red streets’ opens powerfully, Will Sims’ vocals a mix of Brian Molko at his grittiest and Ed Kowalczyk riding high in the mix over guitars that fizz and spit with youthful energy and exuberance. The band have tapped into the pop sensibility that made much of the alt-rock scene so memorable, and Live appear to be a strong influence on the band’s polished sound. ‘Bullet in your soul’ is similarly impressive, the band have clearly worked hard on developing their sound and it’s sensible they opted for an EP, taking time to present these well-rounded gems, rather than a longer, potentially more ragged debut offering. ‘Highway one’ unashamedly tugs at the heartstrings with keys adding depth to the sound and a sky-scraping chorus that sticks in the brain, whilst ‘once your gone’ emphasises the band’s grittier edge, the guitars veering between vicious stabs and more restrained, muted passages whilst Will’s impressive voice keeps much of the attention on the well delivered vocals. The title track brings this all-too-short EP to a close with Chris Pearson’s rolling thunder drums recalling Velvet Revolver’s epic ‘slither’ before the guitars kick in with force and you start to realise how heavy Roll it over can be when they ditch the restraint. It’s a fine closing track and the overall feeling is that Roll it over are a band laden with potential and already well-versed I the importance of quality control. Nothing here feels rushed or hurried with the result that the EP feels like a hi8gh budget affair rather than an independent release.
Too few bands operate in the field of melodic, powerful hard rock. There’s a strong pop sensibility that runs through each of these five songs, giving the EP a strong edge over its nearest competitors, and the band have clearly worked hard to develop these tracks carefully, the near-perfect production merely the icing on the cake. Roll it over are a band who exude confidence and, happily, they more than have the talent to justify it. If you dig well-written, well-played hard rock with a strong melodic edge then you owe it to yourself to check out a band whom deserve to find a large audience. Strongly recommended, ‘dawning on the red streets’ is one hell of a debut.