Review: ROT T.V. ‘Tales Of Torment’

Unusually named denim and leather classic rock, miscreants ROT T.V. allegedly have been kicking up a storm down under since their debut EP two track release in 2019 titled F.D.A./Transylvanian Nights. Hailing from South Eastern Australia they began as a Blue Öyster Cult covers band then morphed into what Harriet Hudson-Clise on vocals described as ‘a kinda deranged version of classic rock’.

ROT T.V. 'Tales Of Torment'

Influences ranging from Chuck Berry to The Damned they’ve finally unleashed their debut album, Tales Of Torment on the general public. Coming complete with a NY Dolls swagger, but also a tip of the hat to Pink Fairies and MC5, it is boiling over with a fast and full-tilt rock and roll boogie. So grab a beer, kick back, and here’s what to expect kicking off with Ready To Die, an AC/DC and Radio Birdman hybrid of beer-soaked sweaty rock and roll.

The last time we revisited this style of 70s Stones Exile… period rock n roll was with The Datsuns in the early 2000s which lit up the UK for a very short period and disappeared just as quickly as it had arrived. This style of rock n roll deserves to be experienced down the front in some dive and for some, it will never go out of fashion. For sure it is great fun to play and for most older fans, they will lap it up live. However, I am cynical about ROT T.V.’s commercial success lasting in Australia, and even gathering interest in the UK and Europe at all. Simply put, we’ve been here too many times before.

Crying Shame is well executed, however by this early in the album the cliché is already wearing thin. Unfortunately, Slashin’ is the same, tired and boring as is Goodbye. Oblivion is the same. I’m Not Like Everybody Else doesn’t convince either with its 60s pastiche vocals and chorus. Unfortunately, this is similar in formula to so many bands gone before that it makes the title of the song redundant because it is exactly like so many bands going back decades through the history of rock. Pointless, self-indulgent guitar solos are all over this album taking the listener absolutely nowhere.

boiling over with a fast and full-tilt rock and roll boogie…

Mothers Chain takes it down with acoustic and atmospherics making a nice change, then we are off again down the same rock and roll cliché alley. I love The Heartbreakers, the Dolls, Radio Birdman, Thee Hypnotics, all classy bands who travelled down this road many moons ago and created wonderful rock n roll, but it has been done to death and there is no point in releasing recorded product of it in 2022. There is plenty of this out there already.

However live, as stated earlier is where this works, and usually only on a local level. Australia and maybe New Zealand however, like Airborne before, could possibly carry ROT T.V. and make stars of them for a little while, enough to satisfy their rock n roll hearts. Pubs and scuzzy rock clubs, if there are any left down under, I’m sure could pack in 100 punters high on VB and whatever takes their fancy for a great night of old school abandonment every Saturday night, but my main point is this does not maintain my interest and attention even after one track because I’ve heard it all before a thousand times and a thousand times better executed.

I sense that many of you out there will sympathise and feel exactly the same once you have a listen. Nice try guys but keep it to the clubs.

Label: Tee Pee Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Tim Keppie