So my search has led me to these dudes from Red Bluff, California. Don’t remember how these guys came into the radar but I’m glad they did because this is some really cool metal and worthy of your time. Now, how to describe them, well it’s definitely reminiscent of skater punk in certain areas, at least when it comes to some of the vocal play, but musically it brings to mind crossover metal ala D.R.I. But that’s only the beginning because they blend alot of other influences in there such as Thrash and Groove Metal. Even then I don’t feel like I’m doing them justice because there are so many influences thrown into the pot that their hard to pin down. Now, that may be good or bad depending on the product, thankfully here it’s pretty damn good. These are the members: Gray Harris Vocals and Guitar, Chris Bentley Drums, Eric Thompson Bass.
Vocally they have a version the punk/crossover thing going, and it’s probably the most creative part of their sound. It defines them in my opinion, with their catchy choruses and interplay between the lead and background vocals. And what sometimes seems like it’s going to sound stock and boring all of a sudden becomes catchy and creative. And the vocal variations are pretty cool too.
Lyrically it’s kind of hard to tell because the production is not that good. I wish I could give more insight into the subject matter, perhaps they can give some insight after I can get an interview. But some of their song titles might give you an idea: Poop In A Paper Bag, John Ritter, Blood And Romance. I don’t know, you tell me. Doesn’t sound like Iron Maiden epic storytelling material to me, ha ha.
Musically these guys aren’t Hephystus/prog metal caliber musicians, but they are great for what they trying to do here. It seems that they’re chops are good enough to make their musical vision a reality. They tend to use effects in several of their songs that give good results, adding a layer of sonic depth that mostly works. This is not a band I would break down instrumentally to give you a brief review of the strengths/weaknesses of each one. Nope, these guys are easy going and don’t take themselves too seriously, their musicianship reflects that but it fits what they are trying to do. It’s enjoyable and part of the whole that make this band so good.
Now the only thing that I can really criticize is the shit production. When I first mentioned these guys on the Facebook page I said they sounded like they recorded this on a cassette deck, or an old analog four track. I was being an ass but I was making the point that the production just sucks. The drums in particular just sound flat, the snare has no snap to it and the bass drum has no depth. But even piss poor production can’t stop the quality of the material from breaking through (see Iron Maiden’s first album) if it’s good shit, and this is good shit. And after a few listening sessions I realized that it’s a bit nostalgic and reminds me of the underground metal I listened to as a kid that was badly produced but I bought it and listened anyways.
Now this band may not be for everyone, but that’s cool, it definitely has an audience if these guys are willing to find it. Their creativity shines through. I would describe them as a metal band with a heavy dose of crossover and punk. I hope to hear more from these guys. Check them out on Reverbnation below and Like their Facebook page.
Facebook —> https://www.facebook.com/shermansashes1
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