HardReviews 5
by Martin Popoff

Mental Care Foundation - Alcohol Anthems

This young Finnish band sez they're influenced by Pantera, Slayer and Testament, and I'd add Superjoint Ritual, Pro-Pain and Brand New Sin to that pile (and subtract Slayer), MCF finding big redneck metalcore grooves amidst killer production (though perfect and undistinguished). Vocalist L.L. Thruster carries these songs with an authority that makes you want to barbecue (in Finland, would this be reindeer?) and drink beer, while the band goes about with somewhat of a one track mind, creating slightly loosened Pantera stools that, in the absence of the real thing, fill the heavy metal crapper just fine. I mean, check out Hate Avenue and Alone... two Dime-bags in totally different directions, but yeah, damn serviceable.
Rating 6.5

Evanscapps - Last Time
(EC Ent. LLC & Evanscapps)

Evanscapps is the dumb-ass name of what is a quite fetching collaboration between Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Ean Evans and 38 Special keyboardist Bobby Capps. And what a cool little indie this turns out to be, fully rocking, solid production, excellent quality riffs and most pertinently, amazing vocals. Actually, scratch that, what is most incredible is that the musical focus is on super-sturdy guitar riffs, which magnetically and with serendipity gather up influences from southern rock, hard alternative, and a sort of lumbering heft evocative of Tony Iommi on his DEP Sessions and Fused albums. But yeah, back to the singing, I don't know who does what, but the vocals are gorgeous, rich, thespian... Ha! - at times this feels like a top new country act (one of the ones with pyro) rewiring the Soundgarden catalogue. Also helping the cause is veteran Nashville drummer Greg Morrow, who helped Kim Mitchell achieve a bright, groovy sound on that legend's under-rated Itch album. I lopped a couple o' marks for a bit of an annoyance I was feeling at some of the trendier vocal effects and rapping bits, which lend a disjointedness to the album. Closes strong though with a southern rock ballad touched by the greatness of Zeppelin (or at minimum, Black Crowes), called Hole In My Head. See www.evanscapps.com for more.
Rating 7.5

Hard Reviews Page 6