A band renowned for leading the rock resurgence in the Wheatbelt of WA, Refractory Road brings their long awaited second album ‘Days That Define’ to the public. Described as “gritty, full nodded, beer soaked, pub sweating rock and blues”, Refractory Road is sure to take you on an energy filled ride with their new album.
The band draws influence from a collection of artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Cold Chisel, the Eagles, Australian Crawl and Bryan Adams to name a few. As you can tell by the famous songwriters mentioned here, Refractory Road is no different when it comes to writing about topics that inspire them and are close to their hearts. The band says that this album is all about the people around them in the Wheatbelt community that have supported them through their career and in their personal lives.
The album opens with ‘Not on Demand’, a very toe-tapping type of rock song that builds in its layers of instrumentation to show off the clever lyrics in the song. The breakdown slows things down a bit but this is only to build the song right back up into that catchy rhythm that is carried out throughout the song.
Next we have ‘Reject the Trigger’, a song where you can hear a bit of the Eagles’ influence come through. Nevertheless, this song is a bit more on the chill side and makes me nostalgic for just talking and reflecting about life with friends. ‘Why Don’t You Leave It Alone’ doesn’t let us linger on this feeling for too long when it comes in with some head bopping guitar riffs which the two lead vocalists, Lloyd Reidy and Glen Dunkerton tell a story over the top of.
‘To Her Knees’ brings us down again with some calming guitar, showcasing the “big and clean” vocals that Refractory Road are known for. ‘Jericho’ comes in next - the most played song on the album according to Spotify and I can see why! The guitar, bass, keyboard, drums and vocals all combine to create your classic rock anthem that encompasses the band’s sound to a tee. I think if I were introducing them to a friend of mine, I would definitely show them this song first!
‘Bonnie Vale Flyer’ is carried on through by the rhythm guitar as it takes me back to those quintessential rock vibes from the 90’s. ‘Twenty Six Hundred’ turns you on your head and hits you with some undoubtedly Wheatbelt vibes - speaking on the struggles of life to a chilled out country tune in the back. ‘Kerguelen’ follows very much the same type of country feel as the previous track but a bit more emotional (which we love!).
The band follows this song with ‘Walked Out The Room’, a track which they say is written about the way we deal with grief and makes a comment on how everyone deals with it differently. They intentionally make the identity of the speaker in this song ambiguous so that anyone listening to it has the ability to relate easily. This one definitely tugs on the heartstrings. Refractory Road takes us out gently with the final song on the album by the name of ‘On The Rocks Tonight’. The keyboard is the main highlight of this song, which I believe works well with the vocalists and the stories they tell of the way they see the world.
Overall, this album does a wondrous job of reflecting Refractory Road’s musical range and story-telling skills through their lyrics. I recommend this album to everyone who feels a little nostalgic about rock from the 90s/early noughties but also loves a good get down at the local pub. This project definitely takes you on a “rock ‘n’ roller coaster”!
To celebrate the album’s release, Refractory Road is holding an album release party at the Riverside Hotel in Northam on May 1st and then at Rodney’s Bait and Tackle in the Big Smoke on July 2nd. Renowned in the Wheatbelt community for their high energy live performances, you’re not going to want to miss these events! Listen to the album below.