Independent Spotlight is a continuing series on Stewart’s blog. The series revolves around independent artists and bands sending their music to Brett to review. No band is promised a positive review, and all music is reviewed honestly in an effort to better independent music.
Here on the Independent Spotlight, we’ve explored the music of Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders several times now. The Australian rock group is a highly eclectic one. Their sound often jam-packs several other genres influences into itself and it always creates an atmosphere that’s truly unique to the band. For the last few months, they’ve been releasing tidbits of ‘Greenbah,’ their next studio album. They’ve now offered up a third glimpse into it, a single entitled ‘No One Knows Me.’ (‘Blood and Bones’ and ‘Only One’ preceded it.) Let’s delve into it!
Stylistically, ‘No One Knows Me’ aligns closer to ‘Blood and Bones’ than it does ‘Only One.’ It’s almost lo-fi in its production, burying the lead vocals underneath crunchy electric guitars and pounding percussion. I’ve previously noted that Roberts and his Rough Riders often are heavily reminiscent of Americana themes. Again, that’s the case here, with ‘No One Knows Me’ sounding very much in the vein of classic American southern rock. (Think Allman Brothers and the like.)
Unlike either of the two tracks that have previously been released off ‘Greenbah,’ ‘No One Knows Me’ feels like it may act as an interlude between songs on the full album. The single is less than two minutes long. It’s punchy, entertaining, and smartly written, but it does feel like it’s acting as a bridge between two fuller entities. The highlight of ‘Greenbah’ tracks is usually the vocal performance, and while it’s still strong here, the fiery stand-out of the single is the electric guitar performance that slips in and out of the entire track.
As a result of its length, ‘No One Knows Me’ is a song you’ll spin a dozen times over without realizing you ever did. It fits in perfectly with the rest of its ‘Greenbah’ counterparts, and in actuality, I’m even more excited to see where it is placed in the sequencing of the album. Billy Roberts and the Rough Riders remain a captivating rock act in the indie scene producing consistently excellent music. ‘No One Knows Me’ is no exception.