Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Infernal Overdrive - (2012) Last Rays of the Dying Sun



Certainly I wouldn’t be the first person to say this, these guys have American 70s hard rock written all over them.   There is no doubt this album was created with the mindset of a nice long journey in a sweet American made muscle car.   I-95 opens the album and what a way to open it.  A pure riff fest, like starting the engine of your 1970 Chevelle SS396, you know where this song is going to take you.  Although it speaks of Carolina, it matters not if you’re from there.  This is music made for anytime & anyplace, as long as you have your foot on the pedal, and you’re hammering your 350 HP Turbo-jet 396 V8 as hard as she will go.  It captures the listener’s attention perfectly, setting you up for that long drive we all love to make, with the music crushing influencing our drive.

It gets even heavier and better as you continue through the album.  The Edge is another hard driving boogie shaking noise maker.  Damn, I may be easy to please, but these guitar solos just melt my ears.  Nothing fancy, just the way I like ‘em, straight in your face.  Duel starts off with a riff reminiscent of Blackfoot, and there isn’t anything wrong with that.  The band picks pulls & chooses its influences well.  Just perfect subtle hints of where their heads were and where they have been.  Cage, Deported to Jersey & Electric Street Cred carry on with the same sweet riffs and power that you would have come to expect.  Just really great, pure hard rock songs.  No frills, no phony wannabe radio friendly cheap ass AM crap.  I just can’t stop feeling the love for the 70s feel, with Electric Street Cred even including a short drum solo.  Now that is some good shit.  They just don’t make bands like this anymore.

Now we head into the stretch run, and what a way to end an album.  Yes, I have also noticed a few Kiss riffs here and there, again subtle and twisted their own way.  So it is no surprise that they cover one of my favorite songs from one of my favorite artists, Ace Frehley, Rip It Out.  This begs for a Kiss cover album from Small Stone, as Infernal Overdrive tears this song up.  A pleasure to hear, it sets up the album closer perfectly.  Motor.  A 13 minute hard rock beauty.  A pure fuckin’ blast from the past, back when bands were allowed to do their own thing.  To say I cannot get enough of this song is an understatement.  The band perfectly sets you up with a slow yet deceiving delivery, with small doses of riffs, and then it explodes right open into a flame throwing rifftacular meltdown.  All I can picture are the street lights blurred, cars left in trails while you’re speeding down the highway, with the Chevelle pulling as much as it can out of its 350 Turbo-jet engine.  One of the best closing songs I have heard in a very long time.

As its first release of 2012, Small Stone has set the bar high, not only for its own releases that are coming, but for other bands & labels.  If you like your music with a perfect touch of 70s hard rock, then you will do no wrong in getting this.  It’s like getting your ass handed to you, except you invite it and accept it.  Of note, my only complaint is that it was recorded in 2010.  Can we get a new release soon?  The more from them, the better.
~William Bissonette