The Roughneck Riot are an unusual prospect. ‘This Is Our Day’ is their second album, released on Bomber Records. They are a 6-piece folk infused punk band from Warrington featuring mandolins, accordions, banjos and heaps of punk-rock guitars to boot. They sit somewhere between the gypsy punk of Gogol Bodello, the folkcore stylings of Jim Lockey & The Solemn Sun and the punk earnestness of Hot Water Music playing NOFX covers. If the combination of all of the above sounds even remotely intriguing to you, then The Roughneck Riot could well be your new favourite band.
Opening track ‘Ignorance Is Easy’ is hook-laden folk-punk with a gruff vocal in the vein of Crazy Arm. Upbeat and high tempo, The Roughneck Riot beguile from first listen, with the memorable, politically tinged, refrain ‘ignorance is easy when you’re told what to believe’ lodging itself firmly in your mind.
The album is not all jaunty folk tunes though as there is a serious punk-rock undercurrent to The Roughneck Riot as songs like ‘Just Because’ showcase. ‘Waiting To Die’ also brings the punk sound of the band into sharper focus. With discontented lyrics about life, love and society, these songs show another side to this intriguing band.
Toe-tapping and incredibly infectious, by the time ‘What About Us’ comes around midway through the record it’s hard not to want to start your own mosh pit no matter where you listen to it. The whole album is held together by a frantic, fast-paced, fun energy.
Closer ‘Million Miles’ provides a fittingly rowdy conclusion to the album and as the final notes fade away, it is hard to wipe the smile from your face. Suffice to say, the album has completely charmed me.
From start to finish, ‘This Is Our Day’ is a gripping record. Urgent and political, but also jovial and celebratory, it is a well-realised album. The Roughneck Riot demonstrate a fresh and unique sound that is almost impossible not to like. A record of frenetic energy that makes you want to mosh until you’re covered in beer and sweat.
‘This Is Our Day’ by The Roughneck Riot is out now on Bomber Music.
Words by Tom White (@whiteywitters)