Riverdogs: World Gone Mad

Tantalisingly short, but the magic’s still there

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Here’s another unexpected though welcome consequence of Def Leppard’s recent layoff. World Gone Mad is the first Riverdogs album to feature the guitar playing of Vivian Campbell since the band’s self-titled debut in 1990.

Back then, between Whitesnake and his current gig, Campbell agreed to produce the group’s first demo but enjoyed their music so much he became a fully-fledged member.

Somehow the world managed to overlook the easy-going charms of said debut which nevertheless attained the status of a cult classic, but although the ’Dogs released one further studio album and a live set they did so minus Campbell. Many of these songs were recorded as demos during a 2003 reunion but never completed – until now. With its references to al-Qaeda and American Idol, the title track certainly acknowledges the present-day society, a lyrical theme maintained in part by the downbeat Big Steel Town, but the Riverdogs don’t pretend to be anything they’re not.

Indeed, their sound remains uncomplicated, melodic and very, very classy indeed. In fact, the album’s chief drawback is that its eight songs – including a concert rendition of Badfinger’s No Matter What – have a combined playing time of around 25 minutes.

Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.