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Not every band or album has to
break new ground. This split release from HeviSike Records is a perfect example
of that. These are two British bands that stick to the tried and true formula
of straight ahead rock. They drop the hammer from the first beat of the first
song all the way to the end, and only then look up to admire the trail of
destruction in their wake. These are the kinds of bands that you hope are
playing when you go round to the pub on a Saturday night, because you know
you're going to wake up the next morning bruised, hungover, and with a wee bit
of trepidation in your gut before you roll over to see what that lovely lass
from last night looks like in the light of day. Basically, everything you want from
rock n roll.
Gorilla has 4 songs to
share with us, and light the fuse with what sounds like a tip of the cap to Motorhead
called “Both Barrels”. I mean, it sounds like Motorhead, what else do you
need to know? They downshift a little for the next track, “Slay Rider”, but
only enough for you to grab another cold one and make your way back to the
front of the stage where everyone is head banging like there's no tomorrow.
“Grind Yer Down” starts out with a greasy, grimy riff and then proceeds to rock
out while exhorting you to not let life grind you down. “Three Squeeler” starts
out like some classic doom but doesn't stay that way for long. We get some
awesome cowbell and then the band rocks the fuck out. I'm sure there is some
kind of inside joke with the song title. At least that's how it feels. Or maybe
some British slang. I actually don't really care when a song rocks like this.
Then we flip the record over and
Grifter does their thing, which is just different enough that you know
its another band, but not so different that you lose any momentum. I love split
albums like this that pair up bands that fit together well. Grifter start off
their side of shenanigans with “Failing Asleep”. No, I didn't type that wrong.
This is a solid, steady rocker that gets your head bobbing along. These guys
play with just the right amount of groove in what they do and it makes their
tracks very enjoyable. “Paige Turner” is next, which as much as I can tell is
an ode to being a teenage boy discovering the joys of porno mags. Not that I
would know anything about that, but these guys seem to nail the feeling. “Hi
Waisted” comes along next and the party just keeps rolling on. As I said at the
outset, not breaking any new ground here, but plenty of heavy, groove based
rock. And again, as with Gorilla, it seems like there must be some
inside jokes being shared. Grifter closes off their side with “Me Love”, and
when it's over, it feels like the party ended much too soon.
Both of these bands are worth
exploring further, as I plan to do. I love the feeling, the power and emotion
that bands like this bring to the table, and it is a pleasure to find a gem of
an album like this. This one is most excellent and something you most
definitely need to add to your collection.