HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Ektomorf - Instinct
(Nuclear Blast)

This Hungarian oddity still sound exactly like modern Sepultura mixed with Roots-era Sepultura and everything heavy by Soulfly. Sure, the party line is that Eastern folk influences infect and deflect, but what passes for that has already been plundered by Max and his world music vision. That's not to say that Instinct is of no use - forsooth, these guys write irresistible songs in this style, and Zoltan Farkas' vocals roar with authority, personality and dimension - all the more amusing (and Mexican: see cover art of Ace Of Spades) given his Polish death metal accent. And if any band can be said to write rhythmic hooks, this is it, Ektomorf's combative drumming and buzzing bass colliding for fun in the desert sun. My mark's kept stingy because anything this derived has to be classed as lesser, although Instinct is a huge guilty pleasure, neck snapping with a cracked smile that sorta implies "Soulfly? We don't need no stinking Soulfly!"
Rating 7.5

Joe Perry - Joe Perry

Fairly raunchy, noisy and astringent - just like the guitar tone for which its maker has increasingly become known - Joe Perry is an admirable collection of songs that work as antidote to the increasingly corporate, outside-written, too collaborative Aerosmith records of the last 15 years. I've always said this about unsure singers and it applies here - Joe would have sounded better forced to push more air. Raise the keys a bit and shout it out, 'cos as it stands, he sounds a little mumbly, gluey and wobbly. Still, Perry finds a way to make an interesting album, well paced, well sequenced, with a variety of styles, yet with a central production entity, this idea of rocking out without heavy metal clichˇs. I mean, the rockers on this hearken back to I've Got The Rock 'n' Rolls Again, Joe's shit-kicking, garagey second solo album from '81, not Joe's best - the debut gets that prize - but the most incendiary. A little acoustic, a little blues, some slide, a few understed, hip-hop rhythms, a little paisley psych... Joe Perry's sort of a chaser record to Honkin' On Bobo, with the integrity coming from the man's smearing of all these divergent styles into a cohesive tonal package, all steely bendy guitar, open high hats and enough sizzling cymbals to fry a steak in eight minutes.
Rating 7

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