Back in the early to mid-1980s, a band called Rough Cutt had everything that it could possibly to take to become the then “next big thing” – big hair, big tunes, a big record deal (with Warner Brothers) and big management (in the shape of one Wendy Dio). However, despite a couple of moderately well-received albums – their 1985 self-titled debut and the following year’s ‘Rough Cutt Wants You’ – the band ultimately proved to be less than the sum of its parts: founding guitarist Jake E Lee had already left to follow in Randy Rhoads’ footsteps in Ozzy’s backing band, his successor Craig Goldy had also moved on to pastures new (this time with Giuffria) and even vocalist Paul Shortino quit after the sophomore effort to front Quiet Riot, with the result that the band’s short-lived career came to an untimely end in 1987.
Turn the clock forward a quarter of a century, and a new Rough Cut (minus the second ‘T’) have come swaggering out of the south western corner of England, obviously hoping that the hand of history is not gripping their shoulder… However, the Exeter quartet’s debut EP does have one thing in common with their similarly-monickered predecessors: both it and the band (at least as far as their image is concerned) are very firmly rooted in the same period of music history during which the LA mob were attempting their stab at success.
The band cite the likes of Thin Lizzy, Whitesnake and Motley Crue as major influences, but, to be honest, the four tracks here are very much a nod back to the heady days of NWOBHM and acts such as Samson, Stampede, Jaguar, Elixir and Sweet Savage – and even formative Diamond Head, Shy and Tobruk, but without the gloss of the latter two.
The songs are reasonably well written and well performed, and while it’s great to see young bands reviving the spirit of their roots, this is a release which has a sell-by date older than the band’s constituent members.
1. Run Home
2. Romeo’s Dead
3. Guardian Angel
4. Midnight Rider
‘Rollin’ Thunder’ is out now on Cargo Records.
Follow Rough Cut on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/RoughCutBand
Rough Cut play the Palladium Club in Bideford on Friday May 10th.