Mind Reader cover art

This six track EP of stoner metal is a breath of fresh air in the piles of death metal, grind and generic releases that I get thrown my way. The band plays heavy, but not so overpowering that melody gets left behind.

This EP is full of riffs that grab you, thick and heavy bass, solos that ring out, devastating drums and gruff vocals all mixed in with melody. The band is heavy, but not in a way that will get lumped in with bands so heavy that it just becomes a morass of noise that carries no depth or any kind of tunefulness that this EP has in spades. The songs that stood out for me were “Protostar”, “Red Horned Crown”, “Flesh Of The Gods”, and “Moon Crazy”.

This loud and heavy EP has the ability to make you bang your head, but still have enough depth that when you play it for nearly every other metal fan, they will come out loving it too. This Ep does it job, it gets their music out to the punters, but because there are only six songs, it whets your appetite for more from them.

GREAT LAKES USA: Live Fast, Die Whenever: 12″

Live Fast, Die Whenever cover art

Out of Boston, MA comes GREAT LAKES USA playing fast paced punk rock with poppy hooks and melody galore. I know, they don’t play oi! / streetpunk, hardcore, or celtic punk and are they any good? Yes…yes they are, very good.

You get ten fairly short, but to the point songs that have gruff, shouted vocals, thick, rattling bass, pummeling drums, and terrific guitar licks coming at you. The band is obviously having a great time playing and it really shows in the energetic and powerful performance on this album with the band playing with hearts on their sleeves and the raw emotion that is in every note on the album. Some songs that stood out are “No Girlfriends”, “Grown Up Stuff”, “I Sold My Liver Down The River”, “Drink & Stagger”, and “Rambling Dudes Forever”.

A solid, tight, well-played album that just gets better the more that you listen to it, with hooks that will get stuck in your head. An explosive and fantastic set of songs that will bring you to your knees in a live setting.

HIGHER GIANT: Al’s Mustache: 7″

Some really good pop punk with no sign of BLINK 182, always a good sign when that happens on this release.

They give you four really tight, well-played songs that show you how a band should play pop punk, smooth, clear vocals, lots of energy, tight musicianship, and just a pleasure to throw on. They have great production which makes this a nice and clear sounding single with a smooth sound that takes nothing away and doesn’t make it to overdone. I have to play this for my wife, this will get her moving, it definitely will be played a lot around my house, and I can’t stop listening to it. Featuring members of Kid Dynamite, Grey Area, and The Arsons, these guys have a ton of experience and put it to good use on a winner of a single.

I had never heard of these guys before this single, but now I’m a fan forever.