The members of Dethklok as portrayed in Adult Swim's animated series Metalocalypse are pretty goofy but there's absolutely nothing about their music (made by real life musicians Brendon Small, Gene Hoglan and Bryan Beller) that's hokey or jokey. The cartoon show has been a great way for Dethklok to build a fan base for their Scandinavian-leaning death metal. Small is the band's evil-sounding vocalist and master guitarist, playing speedy runs one moment, grinding away the next and holding it all together with proggy melodic flourishes. Highlights include the appropriately spaced-out metal of "The Galaxy," the spy-informed "Ghostqueen" and the gory "Biological Warfare" where Small growls out lyrics about "rotting innards" and brains that eat themselves away.
Living in Question
Recipes and Remedies
This Hawaii-based hard rock outfit has a penchant for the grunge sound but their 21st-century version of flannel rock also includes lots of harmony vocals. The desperation of the Nirvana-esque "Noose," for example, is tempered a bit by background harmonies that sound like they dropped right off a Beatles album. Lead singer Glynn Motoishi has a sweetness to his voice that's really audible on songs like "Gravity," a masterpiece that would have been a major hit in the grunge era and represents right now something for Living in Question that makes them really stand out from the pack. There are 13 tracks on Recipes and Remedies and fully half of them could easily garner significant airplay at hard rock radio and most of the others could chart at mainstream radio. You can get an autographed copy here.
Spaces in Between
If you can imagine a mash-up of the Cult and the Scorpions you have a pretty good idea what "Too Much," the lead track from Spaces in Between sounds like. The Australian band was formed out of the ashes of a blues band though and you can hear in songs like "Louder Than This" a similarity to blues-informed rock the way it was played in the '70s by groups like Foghat. The catchy "Devil Ride" sounds like something the Foo Fighters might do and the album closes out on an extremely strong note with the spooky southern rocker "Won't Let it Die (Run Mary)." Many fans will want to see this band live after hearing this effort and they'll soon have a chance as Tracer embarks on their debut American tour this November.
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