PASADENA NAPALM DIVISION – Self Titled (2013)
by Wm. S. Deaver
This record goes all over the place musically and rhythmically speaking, and that’s not even a harsh critique because this writer is a whatever-the-fuck-you-can-throw-at-him-all-at-once-then-neatly-crammed-onto-one-disc kind of guy. I like hearing the full gamut of what a band can do without having to go through an entire catalog of work to pull it out. This is it right here and I suspect that this is pretty much what to expect from here on out which is pretty exciting. Speed Metal, Doom, Satire, Stoner- Metal, Punk, Thrash, Thorazine and Xanax…….have I left anything out?
Kurt’s vocals are hitting on all eight’s throughout this whole record. At times his vocal styling’s are reminiscent to that of Butch Klotz(30ftFALL) and I only mean in the style in which they’re delivered at times but the reality is, Kurt was around first and Butch would’ve gotten that from him so…..my bad. I hear it the most on the first track 100 Beers with a Zombie, a funny, satirical and only slightly exaggerated accounting of a normal night of drinking with Zombie Ray in good ol’ Pasadena, Texas.
This track also introduces the unfamiliar listener to the drum machine that is otherwise known as Ronnie Guyote. I’m not saying that he sounds like a drum machine when he plays; I’m saying that Ronnie Guyote is a fuckin’ drumming machine. On this record you get no less than six or seven different kinds of badass from him. The second track, Bleached Blonde Despair starts off like a traditional straight up Death Metal type track with double basses just hammering away at you that made my calves hurt just listening to it. It finally gives way to a comparatively more melodic song about halfway through and takes you to the end of it pretty much that way.
Track three starts off just as brutal but somehow…..brutaller? Cemetery Mass has a very hard and heavy Doom Metal thing going on instrumentally with tight triplicate bass kicks going on rhythmically while Kurt’s doing his thing vocally and combined they’re riding quite heavily on the Devil’s chord so I had to turn it off because it was starting to creep me out…..(not really) and when it was over a demon was summoned into my garage(no, really!)
I think Greg Martin really shines on this record. His leads are very over the top and are really demonstrative of what this guy is truly capable of. It’s his break-out leads that, at times remind you the most of dead horse and some of his more syncopated riffs sound like they could’ve been leftover from recording Hank. He’s a very tight guitar player and historically has been a much understated guitar player than what some may have realized and this record really lets him cut loose and he pretty much brings it with both barrels blazing.
Now I’m not going to dissect this record song by song because that would be stupid and would leave you, the reader/listener, with nothing to look forward to at all. No discovery phase, as it were, so that’s not what I’m all about. I’m here to wet your palate, so to speak so that you have enough to go on when you finally fork out your hard-earned lawn mowing money from the summer and buy this fuckin’ record.
I’ve listened to this thing no less than a dozen times in the last three days and my overall opinion is that it is a very well-produced and very brutal record, it is a very different kind of metal record than what a lot of people might be used to hearing in a way, not to mention a very different record than what one might expect to hear from this particular group of well-known Houston musicians.
There are elements of everything on this record from Anthrax to Suicidal Tendencies, Black Sabbath to D.R.I., dead horse(in spots) to Dead Kennedy’s, and Megadeth to….. SkateNigs, even. Yeah, I said it. I think the listener will pick up on a lot of the band’s influences here or at least what inspired some of the songs musically.
I’m scared to know what inspired songs like Murder the Bearded Lady Killer and My Own Little God but I trust it was something clean, wholesome and family oriented. I mean, these guys are family-men, right?
Out of 5 Horns, I give it 4+ AND the finger.
See ya’ll out there….
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