This is classic old school rock; we played it through a couple of times and were moderately impressed.
Then we learned Rusty G’s is just a duo — James Finch on vocals/guitar and Dan Lopez on drums — and were even more moderately impressed.
The downsides first. There’s a naming convention for four-legged bands: White Stripes, Black Keys suggest a colour and related word are the way to go; Royal Blood break that convention but it’s still a good name. But Rusty G’s? Picking a name for a band is really hard — ask Death Cab for Cutie — but Rusty G’s sounds like a pub band put together for a one-off gig in aid of PTA funds. Come on lads.
Second: the sound. We’ve had it to review, so there’s some cash promoting it, but we reckon it could do with more money chucked at the sound. We played Royal Blood and then this, and there’s not a big musical gulf, between them, just the oomph in the sound. Opener Oh Yeah does that thing where a tune starts off tinny and then comes crashing in after four bars but the lack of oomph means the crash is less Centurion tank and more Honda C50.
That aside — and the thin production is what stops us raving about this and jumping up and down shouting “Rusty G’s! Rusty G’s!” — it’s excellent. They’re both good musicians and Finch delivers meaty riffage and some good solos. Lopez is a powerful drummer who fills the gaps around the guitar really well (though there’s a bass player on here and some mixing, so it’s not just the duo).
Opener Oh Yeah is bit of a monster track, kicking in with heavy to pounding and a classic riff, with a nice lead guitar. Crawl opens with a grungy riff and bass with a solidly thwacked snare. Taking Over is a bit Foo Fighters, The Killer opens with a QOTSA-style riff and drums while Waiting opens a little like Rory Gallagher in sound.
We say “opened” with purpose: whatever the opening, it soon reverts to classic British rock, however a track starts.
Fans of classic rock may well like this; those who like rock to sound like rock will find all the parts in place and Rusty G’s have played hundreds of gigs, so they’re certainly match fit.
We’d prophesy that they’re going to stay underground unless they change the name and possibly graft in a new singer, one with a proper pair of rock lungs.
Finch and Lopez are mighty musicians but need some beef adding to the sound; they claim to be a duo but clearly a bassist is already on board so they might as well get in a new singer too. Finch is an ok to good singer but a great guitarist, so he’d be better concentrating on the latter.
Low is out Monday, 9th May but tracks are on YouTube and well worth checking out. If they did a headline gig locally we’d certainly go and see them.