In this 4th installment of “Yay or Nay?”, it is more of an international affair as we have representatives from Canada, Los Angeles and Japan. One thing is certain that despite the distances between these artists, the goal is still the same. Bring the heavy and aggressive but don’t forget the catchy hooks. Let’s see who made the cut.
Synastry—Blind Eyes Bleed (Year of the Sun)
Industrial-tinged death metal done right. The Canadian quartet have constructed 13 tracks of futuristic brutality with only destruction on their minds. With special guest vocals from Alissa White of The Agonist and founding Arch Enemy vocalist Johan Liiva, Synastry are poised to carry on the tradition of many of their fellow metal countrymen. A definite must for fans of Machine Head and Mnemic.
Cradle to Grave—Texas Medicine (Year of the Sun)
The band’s promo sheet says that this album is for fans of Pantera, Lamb of God & Down. Being down south in Pantera country myself, those are some big bands to live up to. Upon first listen, you can hear the immediate aggression and anger coming through. A definite throwback to the A Vulgar Display of Power-era Pantera. But there is a difference between honoring and tip-toeing on the duplicate side of things. The vocals come off as Phil Anselmo’s little brother. Plenty of potential but not quite in that league just yet.
The Briggs—Come All You Madmen (Side One Dummy)
A working man’s punk band is what I can say about The Briggs. The L.A.-based quartet give us a dozen reasons to get up, strap on our boots and take each day head on. Very melodic and folky at times, songs such as “This Is L.A.” and “Oblivion” are poised to become punk classics. With special guests from seminal punk legends Brian Baker (Bad Religion, Minor Threat), Ken Casey (Dropkick Murphys), and Dicky Barrett (The Mighty Mighty Bosstones), The Briggs have constructed one of the best releases of 2008 so far.