If there is a band that is not from an earlier decade and yet seems to find itself in every dollar bin, it's Nine Black Alps. I'll get to why in a bit, but the group's debut record has found that it is quite likely the first, non-mainstream indie rock acts that has found itself tossed about into bins of neglect everywhere. I'm surprised it has not been picked up more since the cover art screams indie, artsy, and probably emotional. That pastels look, as well as a visage of something that seems to resemble a bunny rabbit smoking a beat up cigarette, should be automatic buying material. So what did I do? Yeah, you guessed it. I've gotten more predictable in these reviews, eh?
Nine Black Alps is a pulverizing young rock band that slaps you across the face immediately with the bludgeoning opener "Get Your Guns". Indeed, the tune sounds like some kind of call to arms for rockers because of the sheer volume. "Cosmopolitan" does not let up whatsoever with the aggressive vocals of Sam Forrest tearing into another rousing number that, if one can catch any of the flurry of lyrics, sounds like a puzzling relationship situation.
"Unsatisfied" is also pretty heavy, and yet it is one of the first songs that isn't in your face with sound. Forrest actually sings more casually as he deals out his frustration regarding a difficult acquaintance. His somewhat sneering delivery reminds me a bit of Oasis' Liam Gallagher, even if Gallagher tends to sound as if he's sneering in all of his songs. Either way, the song sounds great with the band's back and forth between hard and soft riffs.
Of course, every hard rock band inserts a breather amidst a slew of napalm, and that tune comes in the form of "Behind Your Eyes". If one didn't know that these guys spent more time knocking your brain around, they could think that the pretty guitar work and softened vocals could be from a typical indie rock band. However, as if to respond to anyone thinking that maybe these guys should stick to the light stuff, the group immediately careens into another harsh rocker in "Ironside." So, don't get too comfortable. The rest of the album is pretty much the same in the sense that it's all adrenaline and spit.