The Rods - Vengeance

The Rods – Vengeance


Sometimes it’s the uncomplicated simplicity of rock and roll that gets you going, as it did for The Rods 25 years later.

Written by: gdmonline

ARTIST: The Rods
ALBUM: Vengeance
LABEL: Niji Entertainment
YEAR: 2011

LINEUP: Dave Feinstein – vocals, guitars * Carl Canedy – drums, vocals * Garry Bordonaro – bass, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Raise Some Hell * 02 I Just Wanna Rock * 03 Rebels Highway * 04 Ride Free Or Die * 05 The Code (feat. Ronnie James Dio) * 06 Livin’ Outside The Law * 07 Let It Ripp * 08 Fight Fire With Fire * 09 Madman * 10 Runnin’ Wild * 11 Vengeance

RATING: 75/100



Sometimes it’s the uncomplicated simplicity of rock and roll that does enough to get you going. If we trace the origins of New Yorkers The Rods all the way back to the late 70’s and then forward again, you’ll find the style of their music hasn’t changed a lot during that time. So it was surprising to hear of their return with their best known line up intact.

Feinstein has been busy with his solo career, while Canedy has sat in the producers suite more often than not while The Rods have been on indefinite hiatus. In fact, it’s been 25 years since the band were last active in the studio, but for a number of reasons Feinstein, Canedy and Bordonaro have seen fit to recall themselves to active duty and give the headbangers something to think about in 2011.

Their return is much like Canadian metal maestros Anvil have done north of the border. Of interest to readers will be the association with the Dio family. The Rods are signed to Niji Entertainment, the organisation of Wendy Dio and her late husband Ronnie James Dio. Feinstein and Ronnie were cousins of course, and it seems fitting that ‘Vengeance’ is associated with Niji.

The Songs

The connection doesn’t end there though, the song ‘The Code’ features Ronnie James Dio on vocals, the song recorded some time before his passing. But back to the basics we go, as The Rods unwind the clock and bring about the return of some gonzoid like metal like it was 1980 all over again. Feinstein and co blitz us with tracks which remind us of their 80’s legacy.

Opener ‘Raise Some Hell’ features some snarly guitar, the whole tone and attitude is smokin’ hot, a retread of their classic 1981 debut. Sure some of the riffs are stolen from a generation of metal, in fact some of them were invented by Feinstein himself! ‘I Just Wanna Rock’ is a case in point, think Van Halen‘s ‘Good Enough’ from ‘5150’. The Rods reinvent it with a slight adjustment just so the copyright lawyers don’t get involved.

Picking up the pace in true ‘Nothing Going On In The City’ tradition, ‘Rebels Highway’ rollicks along in upbeat fashion, though the vocals are a bit naff. Continuing the bikers theme, ‘Ride Free Or Die’ should see the Sturgis attendees take to this with gusto. The aforementioned ‘The Code’ is the change-up moment on the album. A darker themed song more in keeping with Dio‘s own material.

The knuckle tap intro for ‘Livin’ Outside The Law’ sets the light-speed metronome, giving Carl Canedy a right workout behind the drumkit. This one hits Motorhead high standards for overkill. ‘Let It Ripp’ is based on a heavier groove, early 70’s in sound, not quite stoner rock, but steamy enough to be a contender. ‘Fight Fire With Fire’ also features a heavy groove but it didn’t hit the mark as its predecessor.

‘Madman’ was a confusing listen, not sure what was going on there, a much better return to form is the fiery ‘Runnin’ Wild’, with its chugging riffs and bullet like drum work. The title track too is a familiar re-run of The Rods from the 80’s being bought forward into the 21st century.

In Summary

Let’s face it, The Rods aren’t out here to dazzle us with science. It’s a basic formula perfected over many years, and though Dave Feinstein’s vocals lack the snarl and bite from their glory days, it’s just a great sight to see The Rods back in action. No doubt they’ll be playing somewhere near you during the Northern Hemisphere summer, so get out and see them while you can.

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