Thursday, April 28, 2011

Small Stone Triple Axe Attack – part II featuring, Suplecs, Lo-Pan, and Ironweed

I’ve been neglecting my pile of recent Small Stone releases lately. They’ve been sitting here for a few weeks now and every time I try to get around to writing them the demands of reality (ugh!) demand my attention and another day slips by. But not anymore! Here a triple decker of new stuff from the unusually consistent rock label.

Suplecs - Mad Oak Redoux

First up is the new one from Suplecs called Mad Oak Redoux. This New Orleans outfit has been going for about 15 years and show no signs of mellowing out. I’d never heard these guys before and really enjoyed their mix of classic influences like Black Sabbath and The Misfits merged with Soundgarden, Melvins and Nirvana. About half the songs are short and fast and they stretch out on some of the longer ones. “Stand Alone” reminds me a lot of forgotten Louisville titans Kinghorse with their mix of Sabotage-era Sabbath riffs with a big Danziggy chorus. “Fema Man” is a suitably pissed off song about hurricane Katrina and all the bullshit that went on afterwards. “Switchblade” and “2x4” are the longest songs, about 6 minutes each, and pound heavy. 10 songs, 40 minutes. Hit and quit it. Nice one.

Buy here: Small Stone

Lo-Pan – Salvador

If you keep your records in alphabetical order and have Thin Lizzy right next to Tool then chances are Lo-Pan is for you. Fast, heavy, pissed off music with strong vocals and plenty of good hooks. There are some great guitar freak outs that would make both Tommy Bolin and Piggy from VoiVod smile. Lo-Pan hails from Columbus, OH and try as they might they cannot escape the classic rock stranglehold that exists in that part of the country but they’re way too heavy for any commercial rock station. Good songwriting and plenty of dynamics keep some of the longer songs from getting dull. Maybe they can convince Eric Moore of The Godz to contribute to the next one.

Buy here: Small Stone

Ironweed - Your World Of Tomorrow

I always liked the name Ironweed and now that I’ve heard their music I like that a lot, too. Hailing from the New York state capitol, Ironweed are easily the best thing to come from Albany since Blotto. Ironweed are a straight ahead pummeling metal band. Two crushing guitars, pounding rhythm section and lots of good yelling, Ironweed remind me of another great Small Stone band Solace. Fans of anything hard n heavy ranging from vintage Judas Priest to D.R.I. will love Ironweed. Starving iron dogs will feast upon this bloody platter of raw riff metal.

Buy here: iTunes

It’s worth noting that all three of these releases were produced and recorded by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios in Boston. The sound is hard, clear and punchy and will definitely sound good in your car as flip off the slow pokes in the right lane.

-- Woody

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