SPONSORED BY VERTIGO RECORDS – 193 RIDEAU ST. OTTAWA, CANADA
What can I say, I’m a sucker for heavy fast bass being played on a Rickenbacker through an SVT by someone who apparently paid attention to Steve Harris and learned to play really fucking fast and precise with his fingers. No Dave, you don’t need a pick to make bass sound heavy. I’m also a sucker for bouncy fuzznastics. When you can hop around a riff with technical prowess yet keep us sat firmly in the pocket, you will always have my attention and praise. If you can find that special spot Thin Lizzy knew all about, you get bonus points for sure. And, finally, I’m a sucker for smashy, 80s thrash from that whole NWBHM scene. Well, Detroit’s Against The Grain have all of this wrapped up in a lovely pile of unison headbanging and lightning riff skills. Plus, Rob the drummer, is a right friggin’ monster behind that drum kit. Imagine Andre the Giant smashing your soul while playing drums. Yeah, the dude is huge.
HERE TO STAY by AGAINST THE GRAIN from ROAD WARRIORS
Their latest effort, Road Warriors, sees the band diving a bit deeper into the ‘Sabbath-esque riffage that many of us live and die for. Some critics have come down on them for straying away from the speed metal feel they are best
known for, but tracks like ‘Till We die and Afraid of Nothing, and Run For Your Life show they haven’t lost that part of their repertoire one bit, highlighted by Chris Nowak’s insane bass playing. That being said, the band has taken a deeper look into their father’s record collection, pulling out some Thin Lizzy, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Budgie, and of course a pinch of Black Sabbath. For a guy like me who grew up listening to all kinds of metal, this record is fantastic. One minute you’re sat back after a haul off Bobby (hashpipe) ripping into some great rifftastic visuals, and the next you are eyes-wide-open soaking in the speed of the aural assault laid upon you. With each passing song, hauls from Bobby bring you and the riffage closer to being one.
Just in the last week, I had the chance to see this band live in a small, intimate
setting, all decked out with pinball machines and arcade games, where the band is so close to the audience you need to be careful your stoned ass doesn’t fall into them. I was a bit worried that I enjoyed the live show so much that it couldn’t come off on the record. Well, they do a damn good job. The live show takes everything up a notch, as it should really, but the album still has the balls and swagger to keep me interested. Because you know I live for balls and swagger. And heck, it’s hard to compete with the ambiance of 70s rock being played to the sounds of pinball machines. Part of me always wants to walk in like Paulie from Rocky and thrown my 5th of bourbon at a machine, but I know it’ll never happen. Regardless, the addition of the 70s riff rock sound to their already established speed metal feel only makes this record better, makes this band better, and sure as fuck makes them one of the best live acts I’ve seen in awhile, and these crazy bastard are on the road 7 months of the year. Guess that’s where the album name come from eh? Rock ain’t dead folks, it’s only just getting started. – FATS
RUN FOR YOUR LIFE by AGAINST THE GRAIN from ROAD WARRIORS