Monday, March 24, 2014

Gunpowder Grey-Gunpowder Grey

Boris Records

You've heard it all before and so have I. After all it's the same song and dance. Members from this band and then that band come together and, unlike their day jobs, make music that's more rock n' roll then anything you would expect to hear from said people in their normal bands. In this case you're looking at a (self-dubbed) "Rock n' Roll sleaze"* act from Atlanta, Ga. (we'll get to that part in a second!) that is made up of two Disfigurement members in vocalist Nate Godbee and guitarist Adam Besserer (ex-Morionor, ex-Hellgoat, ex-Jenovah, ex-Malefic) and "three local punk veterans" in Chris Heffernan (guitar and vocals), Sam Vaughan (bass) and Joey O'Brien (drummer who also performs with Biters). And true to form the various members come together to try their hand at something different. Or at least on the Disfigurement end as A) This is anything but death metal! and B) I really have no idea who these other three gentlemen are! 
Looking the part....
When you think about it though the days jobs of these gents don't add up to a stack of beans (or is it hill of beans?). Right? Even if these sort of side-projects are quickly becoming the norm Gunpowder Grey should be judged on their own merits. So, I'll park my cynicism at the door as we check out "Gunpowder Grey" together. I mean hey, I'm just as new to these Atlanta act as you are! Or I was. Having listened to this one through I know feel as if I have a pretty fair idea of what these guys are on about and, truth be told, it ain't all that bad kids! Starting up front you've got lead singer Nate Godbee and, while this guy might normally be doing the whole death metal thing, here he comes across as a more rough and ready (and not to mention lean and mean fighting machine) Axl Rose! And he works well in this capacity. As a front-man he excels on the mic and even if there are moments when his vocals make the whole affair sound like blues-punk version of Guns N' Roses the album still passes the smell test. And his band-mates? Well, there might not be a Slash anchoring this outfit, but these guys do more then a fine job of keeping up with lead singer Nate Godbee and giving his voice a nice sound to fall back on. And that sound is fairly cool in it's own right! While the group might be wearing their best "easy & sleazy" outfits they also take a stab at a more "mean" metal sound here and there. Now, the promo says that they draw their sound from Black Sabbath and Pentagram as well as the New Wave of British Heavy Metal movement. I've just got to say that maybe you could stake a claim at the latter, but the former? Truthfully Pentagram might work (as they were not strictly doom), but I scratch my head at the idea that a band like this draws their sound from Black Sabbath. And that is exactly why you can't always trust everything you read in promos boys and girls. Sill, the other part of the equation is fine as, at the heart of this group mind you, one could likely find some N.W.O.B.H.M. influences. They would be the more hard rock side of the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene, but it would be there and reasonable enough to see that as being the case. As a compromise though let's call this act a bluesy & sleazy hard rock act with some metal hooks at their disposal. Sound fair? Don't take my word for it though. You can hear a couple of tracks that made it onto the seven-song album (albeit it slightly different forms) like "Cummin' My Way" (ha ha!) and the title cut right here: After that you can even download the album track "Cut Me Out" right here: Then you could judge for yourself what this band brings to the table. Now, as I wrap this one up it should be pointed out that on Record State Day (April 19th) Boris Records will release the group's self-titled EP on 12" purple translucent vinyl format! And yes Virgina, it looks mighty wicked if the pick below is to be believed!

One could argue that albums like this one would sound better on vinyl (being that it's eighties-tinged hard rock and all!), but we'll leave that discussion for another day! When it comes right down to it these guys do what they do and they do it right so I'm not going to lie and say that I didn't like this EP. Maybe it's not brilliant (none of the tracks really screamed out to be unfortunately), but there really isn't a clunker to be found out of the seven tracks. Instead "Gunpowder Grey" is a rock-steady release from musicians who likely have much more to offer down the road! Let's just hope they get that chance...!/pages/Boris-Records/186507934792104

*Or so says their bandcamp page! In reality though Gunpowder Grey takes a more blues-based approach to their sleazy rock and roll along with the already mentioned N.W.O.B.H.M. additions.

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