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Riff Raiders - Rock 'N Roll Daydream Award winner

Riff Raiders
Rock 'N Roll Daydream
by Dani Bandolier at 22 June 2020, 1:07 PM

“Rock’n’Roll Daydream” is the new release from RIFF RAIDERS (2015), a rock band with classic and modern stylistic elements from Melbourne, Australia. Marty Powell is the principal songwriter and he has done his homework, blending chunks of STONE TEMPLE PILOTS, CHEAP TRICK and GREEN DAY into his writing style while Jenni Powell puts the words into song. The group was on Australia tour in February 2020 when the plug was pulled due to the current global pandemic.

‘Loaded Gun’ bump starts into a GUNS N ROSES groovin’ slide guitar greasing the chute for the neanderthal drum beat while Jenni sings … got my finger on the trigger, I’m a Rock’n’Roll loaded gun … Josh lays down a spiky Slash guitar lead and yes Houston, we have lift-off. On ‘Stop Looking At Me’ the band is into a very STONE TEMPLE PILOTS place and Jenni delivers her vocals shelved through a megaphone equalizer filter sounding very much like Scott Weiland used to do it. The lady’s voice is not overwhelmed by the rock music and crikey, the guitar tones on this song are right on the money.

I know this friend of mine, left a special record on the Frankston line… on ‘Samantha Jones’  Jenni spins a tale about Samantha Jones returning a record she found on a train to its rightful owner. If RIFF RAIDERS has a song about a dog walking through 500 miles of outback to bring some bloke a canteen of water I might have to squirt a few tears, just lovely mates. ‘No Words’ is an instrumental piece that invokes a bit of NIRVANA and has no words. None.

‘Best Day Ever’ is a bit of a lightweight that slobbers CHEAP TRICK and GREEN DAY pop with soaring abandon, but the repetition on the chorus is a bit overdone … I’m sure some mistakes will be made … the sentimental love song ‘Light’ could be a wedding staple; nothing wrong with that. ‘When I’m Dreaming’ is a danceable high kicker hindered by throw away trifling lyrics. ‘Stepping On A Cloud’ features the vocals of Marty Powell in a very BEATLES verse progression easing into a STP chorus – cool, the song works … it’s the only time that I feel alive … ‘Sunset To Sunrise’ Jenni shows of her lovely vocal character in front of a 12 string acoustic that drops in a banjo and gathers steam in the final third of the song. ‘Shade’ leans into an AEROSMITH lite song, musically. There is a boss rotary speaker effect (think ERIC CLAPTON on ‘Badge’) on the song taking the place of the usual keyboard synth tracks.

This is a hot modern rock mix that gets it right – pacing, instrumental sonic space, vocal arrangements, guitar tones…everything. Compression used in all the right places.  I would like to know what studio recorded the tracks and where it was mixed and mastered, excellent work.  RIFF RAIDERS seems to comfortably occupy the pop rock grrrlll power side of the street while also putting down some harder rock bits and it is the harder tracks that work best with the excellent studio vocal arrangements. The lyrics tend towards the generic; shame this -  the songs are good. Jenni does a convincing job emoting the words, I would like to hear her tear into some with gravitas in this crafted musical production.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship and the Dani Bandolier Spotify playlist the greatest music of Metal Temple reviewed bands…

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 9
Production: 10

4 Star Rating

1. Loaded Gun
2. Stop Looking At Me
3. Samantha Jones
4. No Words
5. Best Day Ever
6. Light
7. When I’m Dreaming
8. Stepping On A Cloud
9. Standing On My Own
10. Sunset To Sunrise
11. Shade
Jenni Powell - Vocals
Marty Powell - Guitar
Josh King - Guitar
Ron E Smith - Bass
Ross Hetherington - Drums
Record Label: Silver Sky Records


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