Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Barn Burner - Bangers

I heard of this band from my friend Sammy, who heard about it from a blogger, who heard it from his neighbor, who, in turn, named his bong "Sub-Zero." Let's just say it came highly recommended.

Let's start with the cover of this record. It's got it all. A gnarly skelly holding an equally gnarly walking stick and goblet. A Dean-esque guitar stands on the right wall behind a pretty sweet dog. And, of course, there's a skateboard and empty pizza box. This is like the scene in Conan where he falls into the Tomb of Crom and finds his sword among the ancient remains of a throneroom ...but like, if it were a Bill and Ted movie instead.

The album itself succeeds as a metal/hardcore crossover that isn't quite as rowdy and offensive as S.O.D., and certainly can't be classified as "metalcore." If I had to pick a band from either genre, I'd say Diamond Head/Black Flag is the best combo I can think of. The opening track, Holy Smokes, is a total Diamond Head riff-fest, even though Iron Maiden kind of used the song title already. Runnin' Reds best shows the similarity to Rollins-era Black Flag. The posi chorus is the icing on the cake, though. And it doesn't hurt that singer Kevin Keegan sounds a ton like Rollins on most of Bangers.

On first listen Bangers just seems like an above average stoner hard rock/metal album. But upon closer inspection, one finds that the record has a lot to offer, thankfully straying from the well trodden path of most "doom/stoner" music.

I would recommend this to fans of old school hardcore, NWOBHM, Early Man, and even early Wires on Fire (if anyone even knows about them...).

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