Doomsday Outlaw are at it again, knocking out albums quicker than most bands take to organise a gig down at their local pub, only this time they’re backed by the prolific Frontiers Records….and surely the big time beckons?!
Doomsday Outlaw are maturing with each release, shunning their mountain-men persona brewed on debut album Black River while enhancing the obvious growth (in sound, as well as facial hair) cultivated on its outstanding follow-up, Suffer More. The result is a collection of songs which provide everything a hard rock fan desires and while we’ve often written reviews for Doomsday Outlaw with our tongue firmly in our cheek – we once described them as “mountain men blindly swigging from moonshine brewed in their own piss” – these guys sure aren’t fuckin’ around here…..and so neither will we.
The one-two of opening tracks “Over and Over” and the title track are a knock-out sucker punch; insistent and immediately imprinting themselves with the sheer passion and desire of their delivery. The main riff from “Spirit That Made Me” is then as heavy as fuck – and an absolute barn-stormer to boot – but then all the tracks on Hard Times warrant a similar response; each and every one delivering a riff and vocal hook which makes them instantly memorable.
The beauty of “Into The Light” is almost overwhelming, a piano-led ballad which avoids mawkish sentimentality and recalls the soulful heft of Free at their finest. “Break You” finds time for some Blackfoot boogie, adding some much needed fun to counter-balance Hard Times‘ weightier material and, at over 7 minutes, “While You Wait” is Hard Times‘ true epic, a Whitesnake-esque hard rockin’ semi-ballad which hints at Doomsday Outlaw’s blues influences. It’s an outstanding track amidst a sea of similarly impressive songs
At 11 tracks, Hard Times finds us encountering a more succinct, more streamlined Doomsday Outlaw; a band perfectly in tune with what makes them special and trimming all the fat from their bones. Proof that hard work and a knack for penning Southern-flavoured, whiskey-tinged and, ultimately, massive hard rock tunes will pay off in the end, Doomsday Outlaw needed their third release to be an album that kickstarted their rise to the next level. As it happens, Hard Times is exactly that album and Doomsday Outlaw are obviously more than ready to bring their music to the masses.
We’ll go further.
You can barely pick fault with this album. It’s that fuckin’ good. And, Doomsday Outlaw now stand alongside Inglorious and Toseland as the UK rock band that could/should/will reach a global audience and keep that audience held firmly in the grasp of their hand for years to come.
Hard times? The opposite actually rings true; for Doomsday Outlaw the good times are-a-comin’! 9/10