Feature: The Casanovas – Reptilian Overlord

The Casanovas are from the Live Rock’n’Roll Capital of the Universe – Melbourne.
Originally coming to international prominence with the rise of rock in the early 2000s, they have shared stages with the likes of Motörhead, Mötley Crüe and The White Stripes. They returned from a lengthy hiatus in 2017, and have now released their fourth album.

Reptilian Overlord was produced by legendary Australian rock architect Mark Opitz, who engineered classic AC/DC albums Let There Be Rock and Powerage before going onto produce landmark albums for The Angels (aka Angel City), Cold Chisel, The Divinyls and INXS.

The new album is a refinement of what the Casanovas have always been about. Pure hard rock’n’roll, with influences coming from punk, blues and mid-’70s heavy metal. And great, classic soulful guitar sounds; the sort of sounds which must’ve taken Opitz back to when he was working alongside Vanda & Young. As the band told The Music.com – “Great rock’n’roll has rock and roll, it has light and shade, it’s gritty but it has finesse and musicianship, it’s tough and mean but is not afraid to be sweet sometimes, it has melody, it has groove, it’s honest but it has humour, it’s fun, and it doesn’t slavishly try to fit into any kind of category. The Casanovas are a rock’n’roll band and ‘Reptilian Overlord’ is an unselfconscious expression of our love of rock’n’roll in all its glorious forms.”

All its glorious forms indeed. The first single “Hollywood Riot” boasts a chorus that Paul Stanley would die for, and latest single “Lost and Lonely Dreams” shows off Casanovas main man and founder Tommy Boyce‘s penchant for twin lead lines. The ripsnorting “Outlaw” contains one of the great boasts: “I’m the ice cream that never thaws” and “Bulletproof” hangs on a riff that is as clean and hard as its title would suggest. The epic title track edges towards classic metal and boasts sci-fi lyrics straight out of an issue of ‘70s Marvel’s “War Of The World” comic or something. It may or may not be an allegory for current political climates. “Mid-life Crisis” is a rare but certainly not unwelcome moment of self-reflection hung on beautiful chords and a soulful guitar tone – hard rock as heartbreak – while “St Kilda is Fucked” also looks back, to when the now-gentrified jewel of Melbourne’s bayside inner-south was a young rock-n-roller’s paradise.

Reptilian Overlord is out now through Rubber Records.

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