DOOMRIDERS – GRAND BLOOD
Released: October 15, 2013 by Deathwish Inc.
Punkish doom metal featuring Slayer-style vocals. Heavy and punishing, but nothing I can really get behind musically as I prefer my doom to have more atmosphere and less dissonance. Kinda reminds me of Cathedral, another band I never really feel like listening to.
ALBUM RATING: 3.
LAVALLE – DEAR SANITY
Released: August 20, 2013 by Kivel Records
In the vast sea of melodic rock records that have been released in the last dozen or so years, a band like LaValle is bound to float away without much notice from me. Everything is well played and the guitars pack a decent punch, but the vocals are *just* strained enough to keep the whole thing from demanding my attention. And as always, if the songs don’t grab me on the first or second listen, they’re unlikely to get a third. Traces of Winger and Journey are present at times, although LaValle is generally heavier than both. A record kind of like something Sweet F.A. would have put out in the early 90’s; if I had a chance to play it in my car it might get some reps and I’d probably latch on to a track or two, but with all the music out there now this doesn’t stand a chance.
ALBUM RATING: 4.
TRUCKER DIABLO – SONGS OF IRON
Released: May 14, 2013 by Ripple Music
As their name might suggest, Trucker Diablo plays a kind of old school 70’s rock that you could totally see big rig drivers zoning out to as they ramble down another lonely highway. The song titles alone tell you where their heads are at, with “Year Of The Truck”, “Drive”, “The Streets Run Red” and “Highway Radio” leaving little doubt as to the band’s attitude. Musically it’s a kind of a beefed-up southern rock, maybe low-grade Lynyrd Skynrd on steroids mixed with just enough Guns N’ Roses-style sleaze to make it interesting. Except they’re Irish, not that you could tell, the band sounding about as ‘Merican as you can get without Toby Keith ramming Old Glory up your ass. The guitars crunch to be sure and there are plenty of Slash-isms to be heard as well as some burning solos, so musically they got the chops. This just makes the cut with me as something I won’t completely dismiss after a few listens, but time will tell if it gets enough spins to truly become memorable. Right now I’m leaning towards “no”.
ALBUM RATING: 5.