Elm City Music/Century Media Records
I'm always open to suggestions when it comes to new bands to try out. I love it that people are always offering suggestions of different bands to listen to and review. I've been turned on to some really wicked bands that otherwise I'd have never heard of. In fact friends have been known to bug me into checking out the latest and greatest thing and every now and then I tend to agree with how good a band is. Whether people hook me up from time to time with physical CDs or in the case of Adrenaline Mob just digital downloads (in this case by way of a gift!) I'm always game. Now let me state that honestly I didn't know (or rather remember) who Adrenaline Mob were. The mp3s I got wouldn't have been of much help since this sounds like modern radio metal with elements of groove, hard rock and that lightweight metalcore style that was all the rage a few years back. A quick internet search brought that "oh yeah, I remember now" moment. More or less this could be called a super group or side-project. The band consists of Symphony X singer Russell Allen, Sonic Stomp guitarist Mike Orlando and former Dream Theater and Avenged Sevenfold drummer Mike Portnoy. Mike Orlando handles bass on the album which quite frankly is a million miles removed from the progressive rock of Symphony X and Dream Theater. Now for me what is the point of side projects if the music just sounds like your main band? Certainly this could be called a super group and I guess that would be fair given the players involved. Let me suggest that we look at this as a separate band all together rather than a super group because if you were to go into this hoping for Symphony X/Dream Theater part 2 you would be highly disappointed. This sounds more like a lightweight Avenged Sevenfold if their biggest influences were the grunge movement. Well, that and some hard rock from the eighties. Yes, Avenged Sevenfold are influenced by heavy metal and hard rock from the eighties already. Man, if one didn't know better though Adrenaline Mob bring out more of a Whitesnake vibe or rather what Whitesnake thought hard rock was if it were to morph with Axl Rose's obsession with playing weird, Buckethead style metal. Odd as that sounds it is about as close as I can describe Adrenaline Mob. Obviously the group are aiming to compete with modern radio hard rock groups and in that regard I can see where they are going. Not that we need more mall metal/post-nu metal rockers in this world. Far from it. For what it is though it isn't bad. There are moments when I find myself caught up in the groove rock and the fuzzed out lead solos. Russell Allen sounds good here as does Portnoy. The real stud though is guitarist Mike Orlando who shreds through their full-length debut with lead work that is nothing short of dead serious. Is it enough to elevate these guys above the heap of similar sounding bands clogging up modern rock radio? That is the question isn't it?