The Rough Gets Rough with Debut EP

Photo by Kevin McGuinn

Three piece San Diego punk band The Rough—featuring Drew Smith, Mike Smith, and Darren Sader—knows what it takes to deliver a solid fiery rock sound. Their self-titled EP is a great introductory album for the trio’s brand new project that will have audiences dancing and getting rough all night long.

Photo by Kevin McGuinn

The band wastes no time in bringing the energy up at full flight with the first track, “Not You (Resolve).” Immediately, this three and a half minute punk anthem offers early engagement between the band and the audience, with the “Rrrrra-da-da-da” lines easily being inviting to sing along with. The song maintains a steady pace for the verses before pushing it further with a fast chorus.

The Rough keeps the energy flowing with “One More Time,” which is fast all throughout from the verses to the choruses. The song’s melodious chorus will keep audiences jumping along with the band’s upbeat mood. Meanwhile, The Rough offers a little slower and more emotional delivery with “Satin Gloves” while still going all out with their sound. I appreciate The Rough showing a softer side with this particular song and audiences will surely get behind the rich lyrical writing with this one.

The band digs in deeper with their ability to establish a heartfelt connection with the album’s fourth track, “Time Is…” For this one, they break out the acoustic guitars to set the stage. They still bring the energy, the drums, and the distorted electric guitars, but from start to finish they’re able to maintain a dark and calming vibe. Finally, to close out the album, the band delivers an acoustic performance with “Animals.” It features all punk elements with punk-esque riffs and melodies, except they’re just done with acoustic guitars and vocals.

Although it’s a punk production, I believe that an overall tighter production and a less shaky vocal delivery would really make this album shine.

With all that aside, The Rough’s debut EP is a good one. The band shows professionalism throughout, from a solid identity to excellent songwriting. They offer enough charm to leave punk fans impressed, cheering them on, and getting rough with each other when they take the stage and play.

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