In many ways, “Blood Brothers” is something of a “lost” Rose Tattoo album. Given almost no exposure or fanfare when it was first released more than a decade ago, it marks the final recorded work of the late Mick Cocks (unless the unreleased Doomfoxx album ever surfaces) as well as showing a band that, thirty years into their career as they then were, remained undiminished as perhaps the most powerful and ruthless bar room blues band to ever walk the earth.
Even before the vocals and slide chime in on opening cut ‘Black Eyed Bruiser’, Cocks and his rhythm section partners Paul Demarco and Steve King have laid down a musical foundation you could walk on, locked tight and every bit as hard as the subject of the song itself. It’s exactly what you would expect from the kings of hard boogie, swagger and braggadocio, hard times and party times, delivered in Angry Anderson’s trademark barking rasp. Dai Pritchard’s searing slide slices through, dances and tumbles over the riffs that Cocks lays down with deadly precision. There’s genuine menace in the guitar tone that Anderson matches with his every breath, his snapping snarl a powerful roar that never seems to lose its authority.
Amongst the hard rocking brawling tales like ‘Standover Man’ and ‘Man on the Street’, there’s the slow burning story of the streets, ‘City Blues’ where Cocks wrings the riff out almost forever; ‘1854’ is an anthemic call to arms set against the backdrop of the Eureka Stockade and ‘Lubricated’ is a rock n roll animal that can only be about one thing at the end of an album like this.
As a bonus, this re-released version also includes a six-track EP that proves to any who didn’t already know that the Tatts are even more lethal on stage as they rip through some of Blood Brothers’ toughest tunes live.
Blood Brothers is a remarkable testament to one of the hardest rocking bands of all.
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