Monday, December 31, 2012
Half of the time, bands, while not trying to sound new, are trying to sound old. So that is how it came to be, the phenomena like old school death metal, neo-crossover, the revival of thrash, the revival of NWOBHM, and (pay close attention) stoner metal. It is an endeavor to try to emulate bands from the 1970’s, mainly Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, with something acid and with lots of “sludge” and big beards.
IT’S NOT THE CASE HERE; Although this band (really) takes back to that decade, the band is formed by a veteran, in this case Henry Vasquez from Saint Vitus, who has had members such the seventies icon Derek St. Holmes from Ted Nugent in prior releases.
They are on the fourth CD, so they are not exactly “new”. Plus they have in their ranks now none less than Rusty Burns (guitars) and John O'Daniel (vocals) both original members from Texas AOR/Southern Rock legends Point Blank since 1976. So it’s NOT a bunch of kiddos playing the oldies, these are the oldies themselves making what they do best. American Hard/Southern with British accent (more specifically Deep Purple and Uriah Heep) because it seems that they invoked the spirit of the great John Lord to play in the album (or they did something simpler, phoned Ken Hensley for the Hammond duties).
Their music is of high quality leaving no gaps for “modernisms”; all made with the old passion for hard rock n roll, without compromise technology in the production (because if you are the real deal, it’s not analog or digital that will dictate the quality of what you’re doing).
The highlights of the CD of course are the swinging guitars, the keyboard and the vocals of Mr. O’Daniel, like in the song Good Feeling for instance or in the double-bass drum-led piece The Snitch or in the dancing opener Let it Roll. But my preferred is not one, but two songs that come in sequence: Can’t Stop My Heart with that mix of Kiss and Chrome Division (I tried to scan my mind after an older band but I failed, sorry), and the absolute and ultimate Southern Rock 'n' Blues, Brings me Down. The vocals a la John Fogerty and the dixie-like piano lend heaps of legitimacy to their song.
The formula is that old one that should never be forgot by future generation: a good verse, a bridge, a rad chorus and foreseeable solo. It’s that simple.
And I make a personal request for those who like labels: call them anything but don’t dare to say they are "stoner" because it’s misleading and it can make guys like me miss this true piece of rock 'n' roll skillfulness.
01. Let it Roll
02. Burning on the Wings of Desire
03. Can’t Stop my Heart
04. Brings me Down
05. Rock your Station
06. Good Feeling
07. The Snitch
09. Good and Evil