Submarine

by Rollerball

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ROLLERBALL
Submarine
(Plus One/Shock)
Rollerball’s Submarine is something of a surprising record. One of the more promising rock outfits to emerge from the city’s underground in recent years, Rollerball have nevertheless distinguished themselves throughout their career as belligerent hard rock leviathans with a gleefully violent sound that embodied the truly timeless appeal of the phrase “shit-kicking rock’n’roll” and have always taken particular pride in their ability to deliver that sound with charismatic rawness. Submarine, however, finds the band revealing a taut and muscular focus many would have considered beyond their capacity.
One needn’t be alarmed – Rollerball still excel at delivering rambunctious, swaggering rock music – but Submarine possesses a level of clarity and cohesion that completely contrasts the band’s image as party-friendly lugs. The precision of the band’s musicianship (particularly the tautly focussed rhythm section Cam Roach and Stew MacLennan) is laudable on swinging numbers like ‘Submarine’ and mid-paced work-outs like ‘Youth Bailed’, while even bellowing vocalist Matt Boland reveals a considerably sophisticated grasp of dynamics with memorable numbers like ‘We Always Slide’. The band’s advancements, meanwhile, are chronicled beautifully by the gorgeous work of Brisbane production legend Jeff Lovejoy.
While a surprisingly precise listen, the record is nonetheless a hugely successful record and one could imagine it succeeding with a myriad of demographics. There’s a definite hint that Rollerball had a great deal personally invested in this record and were determined to release their absolute best work and, somehow, the band’s focus delivered precisely what they were looking for in a release. The pedants will inevitably miss the grittier, ephemeral charm of the band’s earlier efforts but the honest won’t be able to deny Submarine’s strengths. One can only hope the record reaches the audience it so richly deserves.
HHHH James Barlow

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released September 5, 2011

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Rollerball Brisbane, Australia

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