Great Metal Albums of 1985: Rough Cutt


Rough Cutt gained attention in 1985 when they supported Dio in the US on Dio’s “Sacred Heart” tour. The band was managed by Wendy Dio so looking back, it was only natural they went along on tour with her husband’s great band. But did they produce the goods on tour? My personal verdict was that while they didn’t suck, they didn’t have me wanting to run out and buy their debut album either. They were very ordinary.

Having experienced a band who didn’t impress me when I saw them live, (I’m talking about when I saw Onslaught at Bloodstock last year), but giving their recorded material a listen on Youtube and liked it, I thought I’d give Rough Cutt the same chance. Did it produce the same result? Let me answer that with a story. In the very early years of this century, I found myself back in the dating game in between my two marriages. During that time, I dated one woman a couple of times where all the ingredients of a potential relationship was there. We got on well and had lots in common and stuff like that. However, despite it all being there, there was no spark. The ingredients didn’t light the fire. However, we did become friends. This comes into to play with Rough Cutt’s first album. This band had all the goods to make some great metal. However, in the case of this album, there was no spark.

I have been racking my brain as to why this album lacks such spark. All five members of the band do their jobs well, one can’t fault the musicianship. There are some good little hooks on it, like on the opener, “Take Her” and “Dreaming Again” and “You Keep Breaking My Heart” both have everything I find good in a great power ballad. The Dio era Black Sabbath influence can be heard in “Cut Your Heart Out” and is a fast paced rocker. “Dressed to Kill” is a potential commercial metal single but I never heard it on the radio. “Black Widow” is a slower more progressive song containing some great chords and vocals. With all of this on the album, I should be headbanging away to this album until I get a stiff neck but for some reason, I don’t.

The two best tracks are the two covers. “Never Gonna Die” was a cover of a minor hit by The Choirboys in 1983. It’s the second best song on the album but the best track by far is the cover of the song made famous by Janis Joplin, (she didn’t write it), “Piece of My Heart.” Rough Cutt took this song and totally metalized it. For me, it proves that this band had what it took to be great. One could conclude that the band just weren’t good song writers. I can’t hear any evidence of that either, especially when Ronnie and Wendy Dio both contribute to writing some of the songs.

Track Listing:

  1. Take Her
  2. Piece of My Heart
  3. Never Gonna Die
  4. Dreaming Again
  5. Cut Your Heart Out
  6. Black Widow
  7. You Keep Breaking My Heart
  8. Kids Will Rock
  9. Dressed to Kill
  10. She’s Too Hot


Rough Cutt

Paul Shortino- vocals

Amir Derakh- guitar

Chris Hager- guitar

Matt Thor- bass

Dave Alford- drums, backing vocals

Having had a logical think about Rough Cutt, my theory as to the lack of spark of their debut album is that perhaps they tried to be all things to everyone metal. In a decade where people wanted to pigeonhole music, this album doesn’t do that. That might be why they slipped into oblivion and while I am one not to categorize and appreciate music for what is good, it still doesn’t do much for me. I think it’s because everything Rough Cutt does on this album has been done before.

Next Post: Styper- Soldiers Under Command

To buy Rock and Roll Children, go to:











4 Responses to “Great Metal Albums of 1985: Rough Cutt”

  1. Well I learned something today. Gonna have to check this out.

    Liked by 1 person

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