Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Rose Tattoo - Rose Tattoo

Rose Tattoo


Released 1978 on Albert Records
Reviewed by Sylvester Smythe, 28/10/2007ce


Of course their tales of Viking Road Lore start with tautology unavoidable: “On stage, Rose Tattoo look like nothing on earth but Rose Tattoo,” their online ’77 bio affirms, and we’re left scratching the itch that inevitably ensues from whence needed explanation = nothing so much explained, yet further obfuscated. Aw, man, did they drop the ball. This spew is easily reducible; leave it on the electric eye; let it bubble noisily up and burn off into the fetid air. Lots of volk opine: In actuality, the online bio line should be corrected to read: “On stage, Rose Tattoo look like nothing on earth ‘cept Bon Scott and the Young boys tugging sagging Rock-‘n’-Roll Rainbows behind their propulsive (repulsive?) Ruddian trawler. Yeah, both bands burgeon from the selfsame preternatural Aussie soil, so it’s not so much a case of what’s in the water, but rather what’s mixed with said water: Everclear? Corn liquor? Shot of Green Chartreuse?

Thing is, I’ve never been one to hem-‘n’-haw about derivative theory; we’ve all got to start somewhere, correct? And, furthermore, I’m standing firm on the power of quantity: two AC/DCs is better than one, yet, the Tatt ain’t AC/DC; they’re more like a young Rod Stewart folded into a mixture equal parts Mott the Hoople and Chuck Berry. Sure, that’s where the AC/DC stuff comes from; yes, Angus and the Tatt’s Pete Wells genuflect to the ooze primordial’s numero uno god of the guitar, C. Berry. And when invoking the nomen of the heavenly father, it’s imperative to note that he was nothing more that a cross-swatch of Waters, Muddy and THE Great Balls of Fire Lewis; two fists in the shit & scrawling out long, linear lines of crunchy, cabeza undulant Rock-‘n’-Roll. So, when we plate this platter, we hear nothing so much “new;” it’s more like an aural archeology – and I’ve got zilch prob with this, with so much faux histrionic life’s-a-tough-row-to-hoe affectation filling up the general locus like piles of Western Spaghetti cramming their celluloid claws into every flat screen this side of Borneo ca. 1970s. You won’t have a problem with it either, with sonic anthems, “Tramp,” or “Nice Boys,” or “Rock-’n’-Roll Outlaw” rumbling through your auditory canals like nature’s white waters replaced with billions of gallons of Black Label beer. “Nice Boys: They Don’t Play Rock-‘n’-Roll.” Indeed they don’t.


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