ACID: Acid / Maniac / Engine Beast


Acid were a female-fronted, cult heavy metal quintet from the early ’80s and based in Bruges, Belgium. Taking their cue from the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal movement, they featured lead singer Kate De Lombaert, Demon on lead guitar, Dizzy Lizzy on rhythm guitar, T-Bone on bass and Anvill on drums. After releasing their debut single for the legendary HM label Roadrunner in 1981, Acid recorded three slabs of pure, unadulterated heavy metal for their own Giant Records between 1982 and 1985. These albums have been reissued with band approval, their full involvement, and featuring liner notes from Acid expert and Classic Rock/Metal Hammer writer Malcolm Dome.

Acid – Acid

It hits you to the core, it touches almost every single feeling you have. Good clear lyrics, it’s right on cue with the music, with strong, multi-dimensional levels to the vocals. The vocals are emotional, but not in a bad way, but the raw emotion, the raw feelings to music, is pure rock. The album has a really fast paced tempo, but not to the point of being too fast paced for the vocals. It’s powerful, Kate is fearless, not so much in your face, but you can tell she isn’t messing about. The guitars and bass are not competing with each other; they compliment the lead, the rhythm guitar and the bass. You can hear all three and without one or the other, the feel or the sound wouldn’t be the same. Kate brings a sense of sexiness to the music, the dirty, rough, let’s roll about anywhere and do it kind, with no strings attached. This is newly released with some bonus tracks, such as “Hell On Wheels” which is really good, and really powerful. It’s a “don’t give a damn” kind of song that is pure attitude, pure kick ass. “Hooked On Metal” which is also a powerful, attitude filled song, and “Five Days Hell,” which is a demo that I think would have been good as a single, and “Women At Last” which would be good as a single as well. This album is long overdue as a re-release, it features a strong female lead, it’s hard-hitting, fast paced, multi-layered, and not flat or dull at all. Kate oozes sex appeal, an “I do as I want, don’t give a damn” attitude which fits her style and the bands. Each track keeps getting better and better, there isn’t anything negative about this album except it’s too short.  Even though this is a female lead band, this album doesn’t scream man hater, or I don’t need one, it doesn’t even scream it’s a feminist album, and it’s not overly masculine either. It’s a good match up with being masculine and pleasing to both the ones who like hard, ultra masculine bands and for the girls who “don’t need men.” It’s friendly to all that appreciates powerful, raw emotional sexy music. Kate is very confidante and she uses her sex appeal to her full advantage, it sounds like the band is taking their cues from Kate’s voice instead of the other way around.

Acid – Maniac

This album seems more constrained, more restricted, and more disciplined than the self-titled album was. The first album was more fluid, more like they were cutting their teeth with it; it was rebellious, more energetic, and wilder than this one. This album was energetic, but not as high as the other one, and this one isn’t about proving themselves to either us or to the band, it’s more about “let’s see what else we can do.” It was a good mix of vocals and music, with the lyrics being very good and clear. The vocals are emotional, nice and strong and it was restrained, but it helps with the overall feel and sound to it. The album wasn’t all over the place and neither was the music, everything was nice and tight, but it wasn’t flat, it just showed that Kate and the band knows control and knows more than one style. It shows that they aren’t one dimensional, but they have a complicated sound to them which is refreshing from the other bands who doesn’t know anything but to copy and paste the same sound to different lyrics.  Acid is different, it’s a fun album, and it’s an album with attitude. The way they did the sound in editing just gives it a nice echo effect which fits, and it just emphasis the sound of Kate’s voice in a unique way. The guitars are tight and controlled, not all over the place, not as flashy, but they do have their moments when it’s called for to make a statement. This album features three bonus tracks; “Drop Dead,” “The Day You Die,” and “Exterminator,” which is really fun and it has spoken word at the start that gives you a sense of anticipation of what the song will be like.

Acid – Engine Beast

This album is fearless, constrained, which means they have control over their music, Kate with her vocals, and Demon and Dizzy are the keys to the overall sound to the album, they can do scales like pro, they have lots of power and it seems that they are setting the pace. It’s a powerful album with lots of attitude. The first album was their cutting teeth one, the one before this one was where they knew their style, they knew how to show control and play around with other sounds, and became more confident and more comfortable in their shows, and this one is showing just what they figured out, that they can be sexy, confident, powerful, with an in your face, bad ass attitude while having fun and not taking themselves to serious. There are sixteen tracks this time, and they are all good, and all fun. “Hooked On Metal” appears twice on this album and “Hell On Wheels” appeared twice on the self-titled album. Track four is called “Big Ben” and it’s so good, Demon and Dizzy actually do chimes like clocks, and their scales are spot on, the tempo is great, the instrumental parts don’t over shadow Kate, nor does she overshadow them, it’s all balanced. The pace is fast, but not too fast to the point where Kate can’t keep up. Anvill does a really good job keeping everybody in line with the beat. The guitars, bass and drums are nicely blended, you can tell what everything is, but it’s so nice to hear a cohesive and clean piece of music. I feel like this album is the end result of years of practice, years of trial and error, years of getting it just right and by the sound of it, they have done it.

Yes, I know these are re-released albums but they sound so fresh, so good, they sound like they are being released for the first time.

Review by Amy East


Drive Slow cover art

This band from Ferndale, Michigan got together back in 2012 when their previous band broke up. This is their debut full length album.

Loud, fast paced, punk, vocals are mostly yelling, it’s rough around the edges, not really smooth in the usual sense, but with the roughness and sort of choppiness to it, but overall it works. It’s for a rough, in your face crowd that’s looking to get worked up in a craze, then start rioting just for the fun of it. It would really work as late night music for a small, packed venue with people in leather jackets bouncing of the walls drinking, smoking, and whipping about, all in a really good time.

This is great for someone that’s really into the punk scene. It’s really good partying music for the late night crowd who follows this genre.

Review by: AMY EAST

DIRTCAKE: Self-titled: CD

Dirtcake cover art

This stoner rock band from Montreal, QC has put together a fun album that’s a lot of fun. Having started back in 2006, they have been busy playing and perfecting their sound.

Good clear lyrics that are playful all around. It’s not so much metal, it’s rock but it’s similar to classic rock, but with a modern feel and sound to it. The instruments don’t overpower the vocals, nor do the vocals overpower the instruments, it’s a nice balance between the two. It’s heavy and hardcore at times, it also has a bit slower rock mixed in and it’s real heavy, with screaming mixed in with the singing, and it works overall. They found a way to balance the heaviness of hardcore rock/metal with lighter rock mixed in.

A great mixed sounding album that I find myself listening to quite often and enjoying it over and over again.

Review by: AMY EAST

THE DANSE SOCIETY: Seduction / The Society Collection: CD

Seduction is the debut studio album by English gothic rock band The Danse Society. It was released in September 1982 on the band’s own record label, Society. The CD features the original Seduction LP cover along with the other sleeves from the Society Records period. Sleeve notes have been written by Danse Society keyboardist, Lyndon Scarfe and also included is a complete discography of the band.

Interesting vocals and overall sound, with clear and easy to understand lyrics. The album is a collection of songs from their 1982 album under the same name along with tracks from their highly acclaimed 12″ singles “Somewhere/ Hide and Woman’s Own.” Other tracks include their first single “Clock” with classics “These Frayed Eyes” and “The Seduction” also featured. The album has an interesting sound to it that has a sense of foreboding, and a powerful sense of individuality that I don’t believe another band could replicate. Synthesizers play a key role in the unique sound it has, the overall feel to this album is hard to describe due to the different layers and sounds to each track. It isn’t too highly fast paced, nor is it mellow, it lays somewhere in the middle.

A classic, hard to find album that includes the terrific “Danse/Move” and makes me want to dance. How could this be anything other than a treat?

Review by: AMY EAST

DOBERMANN CULT: Lions Share Of The Dog Years: CD

Dobermann Cult has delivered hardcore punk from Stockholm, Sweden since 2006. In 2007 they released their first CD called When The Shit Hits The Fans on French label Mass Prod.

The album really hits you right in the face with its hard, heavy, fast paced music that has screaming with singing mixed in. Lyrics aren’t really clear, but you get the gist of what is being sung. It’s got a great thrashy, head banging type of feel to it. To the right kind of crowd I can see this to be a rather big hit. It has terrific high energy, it’s powerful, and the energy it portrays hasn’t wavered since the album started.

A mighty fine NYHC styled album that stands out from the crowd and is a definite treat to listen to.

Review by: AMY EAST

WHISKY PIG: We Don’t Want This Night To End: CD

This band of miscreants from Madison, WI. have whipped up a few songs to get under your skin and into your ears.

Rough vocals with a loud, fast pace, nice breakdowns set to loud, heavy metal/punk influenced robust music. The lyrics are overtly sexual and it’s all about guys drinking, partying songs that are all about sex, partying and drinking. Every song grabs you and doesn’t let you go, cramming your ears full of the abuse that they have created. The songs are stabs of debauchery that come at you in bursts of pure energy.

In my mind, a very fun album that requires multiple listens.

Review by: AMY EAST

KYRBGRINDER: Chronicles Of A Dark Machine: CD

Kyrbgrinder is a hard rocking trio from London, UK with a unique style of metal. At the nucleus is front-man Johanne James (also drummer for Threshold) and supported by Aaron Waddingham (guitars), and Dave Lugay (bass). The members of Kyrbgrinder teamed up with Threshold’s Karl Groom at Thin Ice Studios to record this, their third album entitled Chronicles of a Dark Machine.

This album has fast and furious tempos, high energy, not too heavy or too light, clear and easy to understand lyrics, in your face music, really good vocals, and nice emphasis on the guitar. Overall it’s a really nice fit, with everything just seeming to be seamless. They really couldn’t improve on this. Not too dark, which makes this a good album to energize a crowd and put them into a frenzy. Throughout the album the energy, power, and overall feel don’t diminish, it stays the same which is hard to do but they have pulled it off.

The energy is continuously high and it’s fun throughout, making this a great album to throw on and listen to.