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Music Reviews: Mad Max, Running Wild, Sideburn, and SpiralArms

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Some hard rock for your pleasure this week.

Mad Max offer up their album called Interceptor at the tail of end of October. This is straight-up hard rock that pulls no punches. The slick production and quality musicianship give it all a nice sheen of attractiveness. Songs like “Godzilla” just scream 1980s-era mainstream hard rock. The band began back then, released a few well-rated albums, then took a hiatus and have been putting our solid albums for quite a while now. When it is this catchy, the sometimes over the top vocals won’t bother you in the slightest like on tracks like “Sons of Anarchy.” And then there is the instant classic “Turn it Down” that will have you singing along in no time.

cov_r_bigRunning Wild return with the aptly-titled album Resilient, releasing on the eight of October. They have been around mostly uninterrupted since 1979. They do straight-up heavy metal in the mode of Accept, covered with a healthy dose of Judas Priest. Like several bands of this era, they have learned that doing what is expected of them is the way to keep the fans happy. There is nothing innovative or modern about this metal, the album could have been released any time in the last 30-plus years and not sounded dated. Songs like “Fireheart” and the title track sum up this album nicely.

Sideburn is going to be offering up Electrify on October 28 in Europe and November 2 in the U.S. This is blues-based rock but has a bit more of a L.A. sleaze feel to it. It has that vibe that you heard so much in the 1980s from bands like Dangerous Toys and L.A. Guns. Tracks like “Devil May Care” make it clear what this bunch want to say. The sound is a bit slicker than many blues rock albums, but this still works nicely. This lot are Swiss, but boy are they good at reminding us all how to do this sort of music properly.

SpiralArms is about to unleash Freedom on an unsuspecting public in early October in Europe and late October here in the U.S. This is slightly heavier hard rock than the above bands. It has a touch of stoner fuzz about it too. There is also some delicious lashing of organ and fuzz-box guitar on “Hold Me to the Sky”. It is great to see SPV giving a chance to bands that produce this sort of music. Even better, a German label plucked this band from California and stuck them on their roster. Certainly a band worth checking out.

Stay safe and rocking out there people.

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