Like so many rock bands before them, chasing the eternal rock 'n' roll dream IRONBOSS have found themselves coming together in a place - Maryland, USA - and possibly a time, which may misunderstand them.

IRONBOSS are comprised of Chris Rhotten (vocals/guitar/harp), Dave Waugh (bass), Patrick Kennedy (drums) and Metal Matt Crocco (guitar) and blend sounds likely to draw influence from the likes of AC-DC, Motorhead, The Supersuckers, MC5, The New Bomb Turks and Guns 'n' Roses. They would also be well matched in a rock-n-roll heavyweight pound for pound showdown with Australia's Jed Whitey.

"IRONBOSS Rides Again" is a two CD package, "Rides Again" and "Live in Belgium". "Rides Again" is their 14-track CDLP released in 2000 and opens with "Motherfucker", a disgruntled analysis of a certain "mother's boy". As IRONBOSS proceed to make sure that most of those listening pick up their tennis rackets and display their best air guitar moves. "Run Fast, Jump High and Die" follows and has the classic big rock ending to begin with, combined with sound samples of motorcycles heading down a highway. The band get stuck into things and lock into some insistent, energetic rifforama and then midsong pull back the pace to slingshot towards the end (during which some tasty harp work can be heard).

Prior to giving "Rides Again" a spin, you might ponder IRONBOSS having two songs called "Angus" and "Malcolm". It's true that "Angus" is an instrumental homage to AC-DCs Angus Young. The surprise is that "Malcolm" is "Angus" reprised - on a banjo. IRONBOSS might also surprise with the intro on "Eco Freak's Nightmare", which recalls "Hit 29" on "Equinox", Dr Deniz Tek's solo studio CD.

The influence of Southern (Comfort) rock comes across through the songs "Give me the Rose" and "Ride Again", particularly through the vocal stylings of Chris Rhotten. "Baja" is a peculiar mix of the classic Duane Eddy baritone guitar siund with dashes of The Saints (at their slashing best) and Black Sabbath (at their heaviest). "Sunshine On My Knife" is another highlight and could have been the song that Rose Tattoo forgot to put on "Pain" (their first studio effort in many moons).

"Live in Belgium" showcases the band during a tour of Europe. Of the 10 tracks, half are non-"Ride Again" tunes, including "Motorcycle Man", where the band pay noticeable musical tribute to the Sonic Rendezvous Band masterpiece 'City Slang' as they sing about (of all things) being a man and having a motorcycle.

IRONBOSS rides again is one impressive effort from this US band who rock out like few probably can in their part of the world. - Simon Li