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Design By Humans
Published On: Thu, Nov 19th, 2015

Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders: Go By Myself

billy robertsBilly Roberts and the Rough Riders
Go By Myself
(self-released)

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Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders’ new album, Go By Myself, opens with “Beat Down and Broken,” a slicing, big, layered tune with Billy Anderson’s piano mainly driving the whole, slightly spooky mess. It’s glorious really, a great driving opener betraying Roberts’ desperation, but we then get into the big shunk beat and organ bleed of “Driving” with a sax up front. Anderson and Alex Quinn’s slide get us into the Lou Reed-like “From the Ashes” as does harmonica and Quinn move us through “Hard Times.” I like how we get a doubled vocal here from Roberts’ talking. It’s a good heavy strut of a tune. “Kayla” is a sweet ballad of acoustic guitar and Anderson’s piano held back by a studied, simple, rim shot click from drummer Ed Glass. There’s a lot of metered melancholy coming at us here, a very mature character study that stays its course into a singable chorus. I even like the slight miss on the rhyming. “Goodbye Old Friend” is another ballad, but decidedly sadder, with a shuttering guitar that almost fails at times and (yes, say aloud with me) Billy Anderson’s superb light touch. I love how this one halts and almost breaks apart. “Who Do You Think You Are” again features those big, slicing guitars, Roberts’ teasing vocal and Glass at his most flicking drumming; a good rock/punk tune.

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Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders: Go By Myself