For some bands, Stoner Rock is a celebration of Classic Rock and retro production quality. Sure, the riffs are intact, but so is that lightly-textured fuzz and aesthetic from the ‘60s and ‘70s.
This is the sound of Rollin’ Dice, a hard-rocking three-piece from Athens. With a single listen, you’ll notice the buffet of Classic Rock influences pulsing through their amplifiers. Rollin’ Dice lists off The Who and Black Sabbath on their Bandcamp page, but you’ll also hear acts like Iron Maiden and Deep Purple thumping through.
Rollin’ Dice offers plenty to enjoy, and Reroll, their second album, delivers a few pleasant surprises. Those surprises have been enough to build a steady following back in their homeland of Greece, and they’ve even headlined for one of our new favorite acts, Honeybadger.
Naturally, we had to give them a spin.
About Rollin’ Dice
Before we dive into Reroll, let’s look at the band. Rollin’ Dice is made up of:
Antonis Karathanasopoulos – Guitar & Vocals
Giannis Robas – Bass Guitar
Aggelos Kalogiannis – Drums
Each artist delivers a stellar performance in Reroll. If any one of them were swapped out for a different musician, we suspect it wouldn’t be quite the same album.
Reroll Album Review
Clocking in after just over half an hour with eight songs, Reroll is a celebration of Retro Rock and Metal tendencies, blending hard-driving riffs with fuzzed distortion and piercing vocals. Here’s how the album sounds, track by track:
Track 1: One More Time
“One More Time” quickly establishes Rollin’ Dice’s sound: a slightly-fuzzed, thumping celebration of catchy guitar riffs and Arena Rock frontman presentation. “One More Time” is a fun, energetic opener that tightens your seatbelt as the album gears up.
Track 2: With You
“With You” was the track that won us over at Monster Riff and pushed us into committing to a full album review. It is, by far, the tightest track on the album—even at a total runtime of about 4:40. The riff for “With You” is infectious and sounds like it was plucked from an Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath track.
Track 3: Pivoine
First, let’s jump to a definition: “Pivoine” is French for peony, a pretty flower native to the northern hemisphere. With that as our starting point, let’s evaluate the song.
As a track, “Pivoine” is an unexpected turn after two heavy Blues-Rock inspired tracks. It’s a brief and lovely acoustic track that’s reminiscent of something All Them Witches might have placed on Dying Surfer Meets His Maker. What makes its placement curious is that most bands with a short acoustic track will place the song in the middle of the album as a sort of intermission (see “Sun Devil” on Lowrider’s Ode to Io as an example). That’s not the case here.
The only excuse we can think of is that “Pivoine” is a sort of flowery gift to the woman addressed in the previous track, “With You.” Still, we’re not sold on its placement—or its inclusion in the album.
Track 4: Walking Away
“Walking Away” pushes us right back into Rollin’ Dice’s comfort zone: big, chunky riffs with retro vibes. Bassist Giannis Robas could have gotten through the track thumping along with the root note, but he injects a satisfying flurry to his playing style throughout the central riff that gives the track an extra punch.
The first three minutes of “Walking Away” presents the song as a steady rocker, but the second three minutes throw that concept out the window. After a few listens, “Walking Away” may be one of our favorite tracks, thanks to its intricate, layered guitar work.
Track 5: My Way
After some heavy riffing in the first half of the album, it’s nice to settle into some groove. “My Way” opens with a captivating guitar lick that stands out because it’s all alone—no drums, no bass—for the first 20 seconds of the song. This is a small taste of the song’s structure of connecting silence with determined riffs and lyrics about blazing your own path. With this unique construction (and a killer solo), “My Way” is one of our favorite tracks on Reroll.
Track 6: Reroll
The title track starts with a simple guitar riff, but that band adds a characteristic flourish before jumping into the first verse. Propelled at a breakneck speed and built upon a steady drumbeat backbone, “Reroll” demonstrates all of the Classic Rock and old school Metal dripping through its veins.
Track 7: Science Fiction
“Science Fiction” is another retro-inspired rocker with that classic Rock song structure, but it comes with a twist: The end of the chorus builds into a tense eruption of guitars and drums, eventually bursting into a satisfying silence. Pay close attention around the 1:00 mark to see what we mean.
Track 8: Into the Fire
“Into the Fire” is the most Psychedelic and experimental track on Reroll. The concluding track is a nearly 10-minute adventure filled with twists and turns, including a bass solo at 2:35. As is typical for this genre, this long track is split into two parts, with a quiet breakdown connecting the beginning and the end. While the first four minutes feel like a typical Rollin’ Dice song, the last four minutes erupt in a sea of noise. All of the Rollin’ Dice’s signature qualities are still intact, but they’ve added additional layers through extra vocal tracks and dueling guitars.
On a first listen, “Into the Fire” is a jarring experience. The layered approach in its conclusion isn’t as slick as, say, an album like Siamese Dream, where mountains of distortion occasionally blended dozens of guitar tracks together to rocket a song forward. Instead, the massive breakdown in “Into the Fire” is marked by a mess of guitars with every pinched harmonic fighting for center stage.
That said, the band made the right choice to place “Into the Fire” at the end, where the guitar war can announce the album’s conclusion.
Pros: True to their retro influences, Rollin’ Dice leans hard into the formula that worked so well for bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden: Their riffs are steady and straightforward and their charismatic frontman, Antonis Karathanasopoulos, has no qualms about belting through the mic. In short, Reroll is a great record to blast while cruising down your favorite highway.
Cons: The retro commitment is a double-edged sword. On one hand, Rollin’ Dice has its own, unmistakable sound locked down. Unfortunately, that sound isn’t totally unique. While that isn’t problematic on its own, we sometimes have trouble discerning one Reroll track from another. As a result, some sections of the album feel like one long, extended song.