GUILTY AS CHARGED
Released on October 26, 2015 (Scotty Gregory Project)
Australian rockers The Guilty provide an interesting debut album. The first half of the album Guilty As Charged is quite good providing in your face rock n roll with some layers before the band kind of goes overboard and loses its way in the latter portion of the album.
To call The Guilty “a band” is a real stretch given that this is a one-man show or at best a two-man show. You see, Scotty Gregory does everything on Guilty As Charged except handle the lead vocals. Drums, bass, guitars, background vocals, production — you name it, Gregory handles it on Guilty As Charged. Alex Atic only provides the lead vocals.
If all the song parts were as good as the verses in ” My Misery”, Guilty As Charged would be one heck of a debut album. The first four songs on Guilty As Charged have a real rock n roll swagger and recklessness to them and they for the most part work well. Although the songs initially conjure images of straight up in your face rock n roll, only two of the eight songs clock under four minutes and three last over five minutes each. Given the length of the songs, it is not surprising that they have some nuances to them. Atic will never be hailed as singer of the year but his rough and tumble delivery fits the songs well.
My favorite songs on Guilty As Charged are the lead single “Bottle Of Rock N Roll” with its simple guitar riffs and melody, “Back On My Feet Again” with what sounds like a whole lotta slide guitar, “My Misery” with its great verses highlighted by Atic‘s vocals over Gregory‘s drumming, and “Night Of The Blind” with its haunting guitar riff. The Danko Jones sounding — at least at the beginning — “Days Gone By” with its Beatles like slowed down portions is pretty good too. The last three songs on the other hand suffer from overambitious excess with way too much crammed into the songs. “Gimmie Love (Out Of Control)” sounds like a mishmash of ill-fitting ideas slapped together with its verses (which sound pretty good), the bridge from the verses to the chorus, and the chorus itself sounding just way too different and not really meshing to make a nice fluid song. “Hail Ceasar (Revenge)” just gets on my nerves with Atic‘s overall singing, the song’s terrible chorus with various words mentioned and the misplaced guitar harmonies (the latter being the best part of the song). “Dictator Head” starts off strong with a nice build up before losing my interest with another dull chorus and some random screams from presumably Atic. Again, too many ideas in one song.
There is no question that The Guilty can write good or at least portions of good songs but I think simplifying things quite a bit and putting more emphasis on songs’ fluidity could pay off into possibly a killer album. Guilty As Charged is not that killer album but has enough good elements to it for me to give it an occasional spin from time to time in the future.
01. Bottle Of Rock N Roll
02. Back On My Feet Again
03. My Misery
04. Night Of The Blind
05. Days Gone By
06. Gimmie Love (Out Of Control)
07. Hail Ceasar (Revenge)
08. Dictator Head
Scotty Gregory – all instruments, all background vocals
Alex Atic – vocals
Mixed and produced by Scotty Gregory
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, January 2016