August 16, 2014

Mad Max's Wheels of Steel #2

Written by Maxim Björky.

Wheels of Steel is back for another go ‘round; this time taking up the thrashier, grimier side of things. I’m going to try to throw a couple of newer things into this cocktail of an article along with one release that brings up the rear by a year or two. Then again, committing to formulas is what kills careers, substantive ones like those we herald in our favorite bands, so this will probably change. I’m hoping the rich coffers of tunage I empty at your feet will be enough to help you ignore my sleep-deprived typos and run on sentences.

So, I have a confession to make – I don’t really like Municipal Waste. I listen to every release and react positively towards it but it just doesn't give me that feeling that crossover once did. There was a time when I would sing the praises of bands like All Out War and thought military style caps were acceptable (those were dark times). I don’t plan on living in a cave any time soon, so I need this kind of gas-guzzling degeneracy to get the engine revving and boy does Bat deliver.

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Artwork by Astral Body Horror

I believe this one has graced the pages of Metal Bandcamp once before but with a 2014 full-length on Fallen Empire Records evidently in the cards, seems like a good time to remind folks that these dudes exist. To say that Arnaut Pavle sounds like Darkthrone is like saying, “Beatles influenced band now on tour,” when talking about Oasis. A few of these tracks sound like B-sides from A Blaze in the Northern Sky – stompy, crunchy, gravediggin’ riffs thrown together without much of a regard for subtlety. Then, of course, you’ll hit that clever moment when they seamlessly shift gears from Darkthrone to….Darkthrone, this time conjuring up the graveyard kegger vibes of F.O.A.D.

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One of the best releases of the year – glammed up and still somehow raw and snotty. The bands other work was unfocused and its lo-fi songwriting was stripped naked with the kind of overproduction that made it so you could hear every little defect. It just wasn’t working. Now, these guys have four high-flying songs that fuse the nastiness of WASP with the party rock of Turbonegro. It’s just slightly unrefined enough to get the point across and still allow you to hear every instrument. Highly recommended!

[Go to the post to view the Bandcamp player]

Until next time.

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