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Doomsday Outlaw - Hard Times Award winner

Doomsday Outlaw
Hard Times
by Emmalyn Campbell at 15 July 2018, 2:38 PM

DOOMSDAY OUTLAW is a Hard Rock band from Derby, England. Their sound is known for a mix of Hard Rock and Blues, and they released their debut album, “Suffer More,” in 2016. Its success led to the band’s signing with Frontiers Records, and their second album, “Hard Times,” was released in May 2018, containing 11 tracks.

Title track “Hard Times” opens with a heavy, moody guitar and bass combination that stays present in the verses, in contrast to a rather fiery vocal performance. Like in Blues music, elements like a hopping bassline and guitars that create rhythm are important to this group, perfectly demonstrated here. The chorus and guitar solo are not so in-your-face, but they don’t need to be with such a well-crafted song. “Over and Over” comes next, and while every aspect of this track is great, the chorus is sublime, full of emotion, power, and vocal mastery from Phil Poole, and I actually slightly prefer this to the title track. “Spirit That Made Me” is slower and longer, but it doesn’t drag. There’s intensity from beginning to end, and it’s reminiscent of the longer masterpieces from SKID ROW’S “Slave to the Grind.”

Into the Light” is a softer, thoughtful ballad with gorgeous piano and strings and stunning vocals. Many bands signed with mighty Frontiers Records try their hand at ballads, and while they’re all commendable, none I’ve heard this year are quite as enjoyable as this. “Bring It on Home” is different in tone, tempo, and emphasis than its predecessor, but it’s another winner, with a monster chorus and solid guitar solo. The guitar work in “Days Since I Saw the Sun” is even better, and drummer John Willis is showing undeniable prowess; with every element complementing each other so well and Phil Poole reserving none of his ability, this song is taken to the next level, surely one of the best in a group of songs that have not fallen short.

Will You Wait” has a rather eerie opening, as guitars, bass, drums, and vocals gradually layer on top of each other to create an atmosphere you might find in a small, intimate live show; if you’re close to the speakers when this chorus drops, you’re going to get your ears blasted. The guitars are huge, the drums are otherworldly, and it’s one of the most pleasingly unique songs I’ve heard all year. The tone of “Break You” is so much more upbeat that it’s almost jarring, and it’s simpler than what we just heard, but it would make a great song to start your road trip playlist. Drums and bass take center stage on “Come My Way,” showing a band whose success is not reliant on one single element in their sound.

Were You Ever Mine” is a slow burn to some breathtaking guitar work towards the middle and end, and closing track “Too Far Left to Fall” is heavy with bass, packed with screeching guitars, and is the perfect ending to an album that’s a living piece of art.

Hard Times” is forward-thinking and original, but there are hints of bands like SKID ROW, worth another mention, and ALICE IN CHAINS that can take you back to a familiar sound you love. It’s truly one of the most consistent, inspired, and individual ventures in Hard Rock this year, with a collection of great songs to make you an instant fan.

Songwriting: 10
Originality: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10


5 Star Rating

1. Hard Times
2. Over and Over
3. Spirit That Made Me
4. Into the Light
5. Bring It on Home
6. Days Since I Saw the Sun
7. Will You Wait
8. Break You
9. Come My Way
10. Were You Ever Mine
11. Too Far Left to Fall
Steve Broughton – Guitars
Indy Chanda – Bass
Gavin Mills – Guitars
Phil Poole – Vocals
John Willis – Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 18 September 2019

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