Out Now

(Steamhammer/SPV)

 

With Rolling In Town, South America’s answer to AC/DC successfully avoided second album syndrome two years after dropping a riveting debut described as the ‘most exciting thing to come out of Argentina since Diego Maradona’.

But on their third long player, Overloaded, things have taken an unforeseen turn for the worse. Overlooked might be a more apt title.

You see, for all of their early promise as pretenders to Airbourne’s throne, 42 Decibel have lost sight of their strengths. At times the Bon Scott-era ‘DC sound is still to the fore but the decision to fuse it with Ramones-esque punk and the snarl of classic Hanoi Rocks has backfired spectacularly.

And Brawler might well be the worst song we’ve heard all year. Third up, it sounds like it was knocked off in a few minutes by a band that doesn’t really give a shit. Ok, that’s a rock and roll attitude for you right there. But there’s still a need for some substance to underpin the swagger.

‘Set me free from this misery’ pleads  frontman Julian Figueroa on the plodding, riff-by-numbers mediocrity of Roadkiller and we feel his pain. The talented singer (check out the band’s first two records) deserves better. That the slide guitar saves Half Face Dead and Lost Cause is reason for brief optimism but the latter says it all. Two superior songs can’t save a sluggish album.

42 Decibel are a far better band than this mess of a record suggests. Somebody, somewhere needs to take the quartet to one side and have a word. Overloaded? More like underwhelmed.