CD REVIEWS ISSUE 15 Page 4
By Bob Nalbandian
Crunchy is the brainchild of Galactic Cowboys guitarist/vocalist Monty Colvin and much like Galactic, Crunchy combines metallic guitar riffs with pop-Beatles-esque vocal melodies. But Crunchy displays more of a modern punk/pop sound and style, at times showing traces of '70s pop/metal icons Cheap Trick and Sweet but more often coming off like a crunchier, more metallic Weezer meets Green Day but with way better vocal harmonies. Colvin, who provides all the guitars, bass and vocals (as well as the production duties), is an amazing songwriter capable of performing the most bone-crushing riffs while at the same time delivering remarkably memorable lyrical hooks. Even classic-rock virtuoso axe-man Kerry Livgren from Kansas provides a helping hand with a blistering (and very identifiable) solo on "Rockstar Now." Bill Evans (who also mixed the CD) performs some brilliant drumming throughout this disc complimenting Colvin's punchy riff-work. Notable tracks include the energized opener "We Don't Fit In," the 60's style hard-pop anthem "Call It A Crush," the absolutely shredding "Rip It Like A Band-Aid," "Drugs Of Choice" (awesome riff!) and the Metallicish riff-roaring title-track. In fact all 15 tracks on this CD are superb. What makes this record so compelling is the fact that it caters to both fans of old-school metal as well as modern-rock fans without sounding phony or forced like so many of today's bands. My prediction is that you'll be hearing some awfully big things about Crunchy in the near future.
Classic Swedish metal continues to be on the rise and without question Lion's Share is (to quote an Accept song) ahead of the pack when it comes to traditional power-metal. The band's latest effort Emotional Coma was released late last year after a 6-year hiatus since their 2001 release Entrance and this record continues the same path of melodic power-metal as that and their previous Power From The North CD released back in 2000. Although many lump Lion's Share into the new breed of European power-metal alongside Empire, Master Plan, Wolf, and Jorn the fact is this band has been hammering it out for over two decades (their first 7" single was released in '88). Since their last CD Lion's Share have recruited the incredibly talented vocalist Patrik Johansson (Astral Doors, Wurthering Heights) who in my opinion is one of the greatest vocalists to emerge in recent years combining the power of Ronnie James Dio and the finesse of Tony Martin. Also new to the band is bassist Sampo Axelsson (Glenn Hughes) and session drummer Richard Evensand (ex-Chimaira, Soilwork, Therion), and mainstay, founding guitarist/mastermind Lars Chriss. Tracks such as the opener "Cult Of Denial," "The Arsonist," and "Bloodstained Soil" display epical power metal at it's best. The title track is amazing as well, one can only hope the upcoming Black Sabbath...oops, I mean Heaven And Hell... album will sound this good! It's amazing how Lion's Share can deliver music with such tasteful melody yet sound so unbelievably powerful! Other standouts include "Clones Of Fate" and "Toxication Rave" that both show a strong resemblance of early Metal Church and Accept, but my personal faves are "Trafficking" and "Hatred's My Fuel" that are powered by lethal guitar riffs from Chriss that'll knock you on your ass! The band also does a remarkable rendition of Angelwitch's "Sorcerers." Bruce Kulick (Kiss), Glen Drover (Megadeth) and Mats Leven (Yngwie Malmsteen) also make guest appearances on this CD. The production from guitarist Lars Chriss is top-notch. I particularly love the beefy yet dry guitar tone that truly brings out the aggressiveness in the guitar riffage. Highly recommended!
Shockwaves CD REVIEWS ISSUE 15 Page 5