By Bob Nalbandian


Union is the sophomore effort from Puerto Rican (now LA) based Puya. Much like their MCA debut, Fundamental, the band blends Latin beats with hard-core metal riffs. One thing I miss on this release, that was prevalent on their previous record, is the horn section, which I felt added so much more to their international flare, making their sound far more interesting. Nonetheless, Union does provide some tasty Latin grooves and beats, yet the hard-core vocals and metal riffs are far less interesting, sounding very redundant and somewhat trite. The opening track "Ride" is weak and silly, but the following track "People" has a great, catchy chorus surrounded by exotic conga beats. If it weren't for the solid production from Mudrock and the exceptional percussion and conga work, especially on the tracks "Matter Of Time," The Bridge," and "Ahorake" (the only track with horns), this album would be a complete dud.

House Of Hits/BMG

Based out of the great Northwest, Grudge are not your typical grunge band. Although the fuzz-guitar tones sound typical of most the Seattle stalwarts, the guitars sound much heavier and thicker, giving the music a much more metallic sense. Vocalist Gerrick Phillips has a smooth yet powerful voice that compliments the heavy guitar and bass riffs. There are a few stand out tracks, including; "Panaphobic," "12 Gauge" and the closer "Hate Me" (the best track) but all in all, the songs don't offer anything terribly mind-blowing. Like most current metal bands today, the Grudge's tunes are all mid-tempo, bass-heavy songs with little diversity or flair. Influences from Pantera ("New Seed") to Nine Inch Nails and White Zombie ("12 Gauge") to 90's Seattle grunge-rock are prevalent. Nothing exceptional by any means, but it doesn't suck.

Shockwaves CD Reviews Issue 5 Page 5