16 May 2023
Fishing for Luckies – Part 2
Tantric – Tantric
Splitting from Days of the New and leaving Travis Meeks in the rear view mirror Tantric take the acoustic fragility of the aforementioned and pile on the mid west meets eastern mysticism. A hard-hitting blend of post-grunge, modern rock, and alternative metal. Should be the soundtrack to Yellowstone’s native American peyote scenes!
Strapping Young Lad – City
OMG! The heaviest album that no one ever heard? Released in ’97 the second SYL album took the OTT blast of the debut and spliced in Fear Factory style layers and samples to deliver a beast of a record. Metal’s mad scientist combines industrial-thrash with a twisted sense of humor while fully embracing the clichés of the genre. Comically unrelenting heaviness!
Thomas Wynn & the Believers – Wade Waste Deep
From the muddy swamps of southern US come the true inheritors of CCR. The album is packed with signature Southern guitars, pulsing rhythms, breathtaking harmonies and themes of building a better life. Pity no one gave a fuck. The perfect lazy Sunday BBQ listen. Get those ribs on the grill!
The Story of My Life – Eric Gales
If you only knew the story…a total fuck up of a musician. A man at war with himself but blessed with the talent of the guitar gods. By turns both inspiring and mournful. Just like the best blues rock should be. The music is created by a power trio (with bassist Steve Evans and drummer Jeremy Colson) and comparisons with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream are both inevitable and favorable. Soulful singing, solid songwriting and killer guitar playing.
Songs of Love and Hate – Godflesh
Purists love the cold isolation and stripped down machine sounds of the early days which is why the thicker and more organic mid period career of Godflesh is often sneered at as being a sop to metal heads. Fuck that nonesense. By using a human drummer rather than strictly machines, this album is more fluid and has a much more traditional sound hence the appeal to fans of traditional heavy metal. Never before has the group rocked so hard, sounding tighter as a unit; intense and aggressive. It’s raw, it’s brutal, it’s bulldozer.
Shelter – Mantra
One for the cool kids, we know. But even scene snobs sometimes get it right. The band’s first album for Roadrunner Records sees a partial return to their pure hardcore roots yet they also made room for melodic hard rock. Its this combo that make it compelling. There’s a naive charm to the infectious energy and if you can get past the overt Hare Krishna love -in you’ll find a splendid slice of pop-hardcore.
Above – Mad Season
Real art cuts through the noise. An album for a candlelit night of melancholic reflection or a quick way to clear a party, either way this album just hits the spot. Guitarist Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) was actually trying to nudge troubled vocalist Layne Staley onto the straight and narrow. Staley’s haunting vocals underpin this powerful set of churning introspection and slow vamps, mired in the darkest areas of grunge. Heavy mood music.
Crawl – The Beyond
Not for everyone. But if you’re serious about charting the development of math metal (and hey, we’ve all been there…) Then before Meshuggah, before System, before any of them there was The Beyond.
Touted as the next big thing by a hopelessly bewildered record company it achieved approx. 39 album sales including all their mums. EMI even resurrected their ’70s progressive rock imprint Harvest especially for its release.
If Rush had decided to tackle thrash metal, they may have sounded like The Beyond, with a combination of brainiac lyrics, guitar acrobatics, bass slapping and percussive poly-rhythms. For those keen on prog and precision, the album will provide extended discovery.
Can We Get a Witness – The Georgia Thunderbolts
Killer thirteen-song album that builds on the influences of feel-good Southern Rock royalty. It recalls and refreshes the boogie licks and anthemic riffs of the genre, with Riley Couzzourt and Logan Tolbert’s twin guitar attack driving everything. This debut landed at the height of COVID to sod all fanfare in 2021. But if you have love for the suvvern, the hip shake of the Georgia Satellites and sun-baked cotton fields go find ’em.
Alive – Snot
Like Mother Love Bone, someone dies too young and it just never gets going, but captured forever is the vibrant, aching potential. Although Snot’s legacy will forever be associated with the death of singer Lynn Strait, their savage assault of Clutch blended with the funky California metal of Mordred showed real potential. Strait’s exuberant personality is quite evident here, with his on-stage banter and audible attitude fully present. An optimum performance from a band that was only starting to develop when their career was sadly cut short. Lynn Strait RIP.