Monday, May 19, 2014

On Top-Top to Bottom

HPGD Productions

It has been three long years since we last heard from Philadelphia’s hard & heavy/classic heavy metal/N.W.O.B.H.M.-inspired rockers On Top. That is far too long to have to wait in-between releases (three years too long!) if you ask me as On Top's debut-album, "Top Heavy", was absolutely killer! With nods to everyone from Accept and Saxon to Malice and Metallica it was one of those LPs* which you just couldn't get enough of! You can read my review of it below, but for now let's tackle this short (as in only four songs!) EP and ask the questions that should be on everyone's mind in regards to power trio On Top. Those would be "Where have you been all this time?" and "Why, after all these years away from a scene that really could have used your honest to goodness, real rock and roll mentality, do we get only FOUR freakin' tracks from you!". That first question could be answered by the fact that this seems to be a part-time project. Lead vocalist/bassist Jaron Gulino (who sounds like Rage Against The Machine's Zack de la Rocha (if Zack had been influenced more by the likes of Bon Scott, Lemmy, Ozzy, etc.) going through a sleazy street metal phase) does spend time in Mach22 (who have also graced these pages in the past year) and drummer Danny Piselli is also in Fisthammer whose new release, "Infallible", I just covered last week! So yes, those two members do find their time limited I suspect. Still, here is one of those occasions where I wish their part-time project was actually their full-time project as I thoroughly enjoy it and find it WAY more interesting then what they are doing otherwise! Here on "Top to Bottom" (due to be released on June 3rd) the pair is joined by newcomer Brian Davis on lead guitar and, other then the short length of this one, there isn't one thing to complain about! Even with a new guitarist in place it's the same On Top that thrilled on "Top Heavy". Again the band draws from the likes of Accept, Saxon, Malice and even (if to a slightly less extent) Metallica along with sleaze/hard rock influences (early Mötley Crüe, Ratt, Dokken, AC/DC, Kiss, W.A.S.P., Ozzy etc.) and some other more metallic reference points (Judas Priest, Motörhead, Black Sabbath). Only this time around the band looks to knock off the more obvious sources of inspirations and, by focusing on their strengths and encouraging each other to write more original compositions, On Top has returned with an EP that sounds less like the competition and more like, well, On Top. And it bloody well works! Whether it's the EP's stellar production**, the transfusion of new blood (Brian Davis is a skilled guitarist who lead solos have a real classic hard rock niche about them!) or the realization on the part of Jaron Gulino and Danny Piselli that they can rock out to their own beat there is just something about "Top to Bottom" that just screams out "Top Heavy is here!". If only that scream would be followed by more good music and less years sat waiting around for Top Heavy to answer it's true calling: to conquer a scene in desperate need of real, hard-edge heavy rock/traditional metal! Let's all hope then that Top Heavy heads that call! For now though you can pre-order the digital download of "Top to Bottom" right here:  for only $4.44 or, better yet, you can pre-order "Top to Bottom" on CD for only $8 (includes free shipping) right here:   And, if want to find out more about these Philadelphia rockers (and why wouldn't you?), then head over to their Facebook page right below! 

 *No, it wasn't actually released on LP. However (and this is a HUGE however!!!!!) it had one of those classic metal vibes and it bore all the hallmarks of great hard rock, heavy metal and speed metal/thrash metal LPs of old (or the eighties if you will!). "Top Heavy" could have easily been issued on vinyl and it would have sounded like a match made in heaven!

** "Top To Bottom" was recorded at Tribe Sound Studios in West Chester, PA, engineered/mixed by Brian Davis and mastered by Chris “The Wizard” Collier (KXM, Lynch Mob)

Review of the smashing "Top Heavy":

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Blogger Metal Mark said...

Sounds promising.

11:11 AM  
Blogger Andy said...

Knowing your tastes Mark like I do you should really enjoy this one!

4:53 AM  

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