In an age where rock and metal is no longer in its’ infancy, we’re beginning to hear more and more bands join a “scene” and just happily ride the wave of popularity with their friends. These bands never last and are doomed to become irrelevant as soon as the bubble bursts. We’ve seen it with nu-metal, we’ve seen it with emo and we’ve seen it with pop punk. The bands that last are the real innovators, but how can you innovate when the rock and metal formula is so tried and tested? Roll on Three are here to tell us how.
Roll on Three are 4 guys from Edinburgh throwing an awful lot of influences in their dirty, punky, blues-metal melting pot and making it work phenomenally well. Think Cancer Bats, Black Spiders and Black Stone Cherry having a massive ruck and you’re getting warm. There’s so much groove on their debut self-titled EP that your head will have a hard time keeping up with all that banging it’s about to do.
First up we have to talk about riffs. The guitar work on this EP is outstanding throughout. The riffs are tight and the songs are structured magnificently to maximise on optimum headbangery (copyright UK Scumscene 2012). These riffs are going to be stuck in your head for days and they’re backed up with some pounding bass-lines and exemplary drumming. This could well be the best Southern metal party you’ve ever been to in Scotland (figure that one out).
It’s a bit of a shame then that the vocals don’t give the music that final push into the stratosphere then. Don’t get us wrong, the gruff and burly screams do their job perfectly well, but the chorus’ in My Lost Way and The Road could have sounded amazing if a big vocal hook was employed. Even the inclusion of some backing vocals might have made certain lines a little more memorable. However, what we get is a pretty standard scream-a-long which is perfectly acceptable but feels more functional than anything exciting.
Please don’t get the impression that the vocals are a deal-breaker; this is a fantastically well written slab of Southern-fried, punky, sludge-metal that sounds remarkably unique. Enough can’t be said about how memorable and distinctive the music on Roll on Three’s self titled EP is. The songs throw huge blues riffs at you only to break down into some serious sludge and then launch back into an incessant punk shred that’ll make you want to lose many personal belongings in a mosh pit. But we can’t help but feel that Roll on Three could use a little more variety in the vocal department. Some big melodies or backing vocals would give Roll on Three that all important edge that will turn them from great to amazing.
Keep your eyes on these boys; they’re going places.
Roll on Three’s self titled EP can be downloaded for free from their Bandcamp. Bargain.