HardReviews 3
by Martin Popoff

Immortalis (Bodog Music)

Immortalis features a new drummer (Ron Lipnicki - makes no difference) as well as a reunion with Jonny and Marsha Zazula (Megaforce) at the business end of things (also doesn't change the album). Elsewhere, Randy from Lamb Of God duets with Blitz on 'Skull And Bones', where Randy does Randy, Blitz does Blitz (more growl less yelp), but Blitz also does some cool singing as per side-project The Cursed. Production and writing is classic Overkill, thrash with an east coast hardcore compactness, but cool, circuitous riffs weave their way through 'Hellish Pride' and 'Head On' while 'Walk Through Fire' is an awesome drinking man's metal tune along the lines of Kiss meets Dangerous Toys. Stick with this one through the war-ish thick of it, 'cos IMO haranguing opener 'Devils In The Mist' is the weakest track here, with the whole doom crew back half creating a near concept album of grim-faced determination, a sort of shoot first/bathe in fiery torment later environment that has me thinking about Tank's This Means War or Maiden's A Matter Of Life And Death for some reason. Thrash diehards might find this a little too chuggy, but that's fine by me, even if 'Walk Through Fire' has me salivating for more (out of character) anthemic fare against the old school NYC urban hardcore sullenness of Overkill's usual mid-paced decisions.
Rating 7.5

Electric (Broken Teeth '08)

Jason McMaster is, of course, best known for his rip roarin' Dangerous Toys franchise, but Broken Teeth have near surpassed that band's reputation given a bulging catalogue of boozy brawlin' AC/DC-meets-Krokus metal for the Mescalero masses. Electric offers more of the same, with tight, taut production values that seem ready to snap these astringent Angel City riffs in two. And there's McMaster scrawlin' and crawlin' o'ertop of these superlative party rock anthems, poking his way through charged but midrangy and uneasy guitar licks that would make American Dog's Steve Theado proud. Brian Johnson, Jack Russell and Tom Kiefer might be touchstones for understanding McMaster's cat scratch roar, but he delivers like Bach on empty-bellied beers. And then these songs... man, 'She's Gonna Blow' is like the best fast Angus rocker they never had, and then 'Hangin' By The Skin' is more of a Flick Of The Switch marauder, crossed with the interesting spare textures of the last (lost) two AC/DC spins. Hot clockin' band, full up with ideas, twin trades, pregnant pauses and deep hooks come holler-along time.
Rating 7.5

Hard Reviews Page 4