Monday, October 24, 2011
Revenge of the Quick Ripple Bursts - Featuring Nitro, Rachel, DxBxSx, and Diamond Lane
Turkey has a long and illustrious history with metal, whether we're talking about Attak or Pentagram. They know their thrashy metal. Now the latest band to come from the land of the Ottoman sultans is Nitro, and holy crap, do they keep the metal banner waving high and flying strong. What we got here is manaical riffing and a straight up metal assault powerful enough to eviscerate the unsuspecting. "Suicide Trip" terrorizes and pummels like a trained monkey using my ball sack as a speed punching bag. "Kill him Now" is a Howitzer cannon to the frontal cortex. "Freedom" drops in enough gargled screams amongst its hyperblast beat to alarm the CIA. And just because I dig this sorta thing, I gotta give a special nod to the songs sung in Turkish, like the near Oi! punk gang-along of "Ben De Seni." Go ahead, open your horizons, seek out the whole world of metal. Start in Turkey. Nitro is the place.
I dig Rachael. Straight up, just dig them. Coming from Poland, their last EP I bet you like Drugs Instead of Sex was a kicky little burst of edgy punk and dissonance, with killer branded-into-my brain cuts like "Asian Girl." Snotty and spunky. Loved it. Now for their second EP (not new, by the way, my apologies to the band, it's been sitting in my queue waaayyy to long), Add a Little Bit of Tobacco, Rachael have expanded their pallet. Like a painter seeing the work of the Impressionist masters for the first time (when previously the whole world had been line drawings) Rachael flesh out their compositions with a whole world of color and textures. Expanded, neo-psychedelic musings are the order of the day, from the pulsating "Burn Slowly and See," to the shoegazing, smoke-filled haze of "Watchsick." And the change does Rachael good. While I miss the pure adolescent spunkiness of the first EP, Tobacco finds a newly mature band floating off and exploring their expansive muse. "Watchsick" is positively addictive, "Grass" is mellow and beautiful, and "Like a High" maintains some old spunk with a robust bass and hyper-adelic riffing. Definitely recommended for a mind-altering afternoon's delight.
Definitely one of the more unsuspecting releases to be humped into the Ripple office by Postman Sal in quite some time. On the Elektrohasch label, I expected DxBxSx to follow the label's well-established template of groove-addicted, psychedelia like label founder, Colour Haze. Hell no, Paco! DxBxSx (which stands for Drive By Shooting) roars, dare I say rages, out of the speakers with a meth-funneled hyper, German punk assault. Title track "Zugriff" is pure Germanic snot. Beefy, angry, snarly. Like a pitbull straining at the tether, straining to eat your face off. Not what I had in mind, but freaking awesome. "Ich Brenne" follows suit with a rolling riff attack squad of guitars and a handgrenade, stuttering-spoken/sung vocal attack. Kinda reminds me of lost French metal masters, Trust. Which is way cool in my book. "New Beat," keeps the energy alive with it's chiming riff and vocal phlegm. And the album goes on from there. Definitely the most "rock" album I've ever heard in the Elektrohasch catalog and definitely a killer find of German sputum. Killer shit. Not to be missed.
Scrawled in ballpoint pen on a yellow sticky note, plastered to the back cover of this snappy CD, is a hand-written note to me from Brandon, singer for the pure rock outfit, Diamond Lane. "Thank you for believing in rock n roll!!!" he writes. Well, Brandon, thanks for the comment, but more importantly, thank you, my brother. Thank you for keeping the flame lit and rock burning, cause one thing I can definitely say is Diamond Lane believes in rock n roll. Hollywood rock circa 1985 to be precise. With a massive, good old-fashioned rock guitar attack of Jarret Reis, this is Diamond Lane reclaiming the glory that bands like Guns and Roses and Motley Crue once held in their day. Massive retro (without ever being derivative) riffs crunch into the night with soaring vocals, massive melodies, scream-your-heart-out big choruses and stick to your brain like glue hooks. This is mighty, mighty rock with monsters like "All Rebels Welcome" and the snotty dump-your-ass breakup song of "I Know Who You Did Last Summer.' And when I say this shit is hot, I mean it burns. These cats sold out the Viper Room for their Hollywood debut show, then went out and toured with Aerosmith and ZZ Top. If rock meant anything in the world today, these guys would be catapulted to the next big thing. I remember in my teens, this woulda been the band that was all the buzz. Hopefully, times will right itself and Diamond Lane will get what they deserve. Because if you dig pure, unadulterated, rocking metal, Diamond Lane are keeping that flame alive.