Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Bible of the Devil
Freedom Metal
Cruz Del Sur

Bible of the Devil has spent four previous albums giving a tongue bath to that sweet spot between the legs of Thin Lizzy and Iron Maiden, finally resulting in a screaming orgasm called Freedom Metal. Relocating its sense of humor (it’s always great to hear a hard rock band that acknowledges the inherent silliness of its chosen milieu without becoming a smirking parody) and bearing down hard on its majestic hookriffs, B of the D rocks the holy fuck out of well-crafted cuts like Night Oath, Ol’ Girl and Womanize with a deadly combination of precision and abandon. The band really shows its mettle with the zero-to-60 majesty of Heat Feeler, which starts out as folk rock (!) before letting the power chords and harmony leads fly. This is the record Axl Rose and Zakk Wylde need to hear to relearn how to rock. You may think you own the night, but, as declared in this platter’s castle-pillaging opener Hijack the Night, Bible of the Devil is going to take it from you.

- Michael Toland
The Specimens
The Quick and the Deaf/Fast and Loose
Zodiac Killer

Is it just me, or is the fine country of Australia home to a hell of a lot of top shelf rock & rollers? The Saints, Radio Birdman, the Beasts of Bourbon and their many offshoots, the Chevelles, Feedtime, the Drones, Kim Salmon’s various projects, You Am I…the list goes on and fuckin’ on. Add the Specimens to the roster with this American introductory disk that combines the quartet’s two albums, plus an EP. Like an Aussie Joker Five Speed, the Specimens don’t fuck around – there’s no time wasted on anything but catchy fuzzbomb riffs, runaway train rhythms and spitting sneers. Loaded, Kiss On the Lips and Drama Queen run on the kind of angry/horny fuel powering young men around the world – it spills all over the floor on Burn City Burn, No Good and The Quick and the Deaf, so mind the matches. The disk ends with an Australian interview that teases the group’s forthcoming record Jazz Brutus, which sounds like it’s gonna be another corker. Bottle-smashing, firestarting, gang deb-fucking rock & roll.

- Michael Toland
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