Australia has a fine tradition of no-frills hard rock. AC/DC, The Angels (Angel City), and Kings Of The Sun come to mind. Of course, Rose Tattoo very much belongs in that mix as well. This band is (apparently) quite revered in the Land Down Under, though not exactly a household name here in the States.
Produced by the same duo (Vanda and Young) that worked on AC/DC’s early albums, Assault & Battery consists of tight arrangements with steady, driving beats, and crunchy power chords. Leading the charge was the hairless pate of one Angry Anderson, a tatted rogue with a tough-guy voice that perfectly suited Rose Tattoo’s blue-collar brand of hard rock. Faves here include the hellfire-spittin’ Magnum Maid, and the ode to Luciferian incest (seriously?) Chinese Dunkirk. Yet, my absolute favorite cut has to be the almost danceable Rock ‘N’ Roll Is King. Here, Anderson summons a kind of (classic) Rod Stewart-like blend of melodicism and grit. A fine cruising anthem if there ever was one! Yes indeed, rock ‘n’ roll is KING. But you knew that already. My score: A-