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11.10.11

Peanut Butter Lovesicle - 'Heavy Daze Wildcat Craze' (self released) 4/5

Now this is a strange one. I will admit that I had never heard of New York / New Jersey power trio Peanut Butter Lovesicle until this five tracker arrived unsolicited at the BCFM studios last week.I picked it up and thought I would give it a listen and I'm glad that I did.

Basically on first listen this is a good solid stoner / blues ep in the same vein as the likes of Mos Generator and Stone Axe. All five cuts are slow and ponderous, riff heavy slices of fairly sparse retro rock with some spaced out psychedelic overtones. Lots of delicious wah wah guitar work, Groundhogsy rhythms and Stone Ground style song structures. But once you've given it a good play or two you begin to find there is more to this ep than first meets the ear.

You begin to notice other influences and constructs floating around the mix; little hints of modern alternative rock, pinches of indie shoegaze, a dash of grunge or two: nothing you can really put your finger on and pin down, but its there all the same. The opener Colorblind has a distant voice over section that wouldn't sound out of place on a Gorillas track Sicamore Trees has a Tom Waits style vocal and Commodore has a touch of the Lou Reeds to it. In fact the more you listen then more hidden depths you find.

All of which makes for a very interesting listen and shows that PBL are an outfit with an awful lot to offer and an interesting future ahead of them. Worth looking out for.

For Fans Of... Mos Generator, Lou Reed, The Groundhogs, Stone Axe....

Elimination - 'The Blood Of The Titans' (transend) 5/5

Unless you've had your head in a bucket for the past year or two, you can't help but notice there is a bit of a metal revival going on in the UK at the moment. Already this year we have had classic albums from Revoker and Anterior and now just to show that there is strength and depth to UK metal we have this absolute gem from Ipswich post thrashers Elimination.

This lot have been around for a few years now and have already been working their metallic danglies off with a couple of self released eps, a debut album for the tiny Rising label and a hell of a lot of road work opening for the likes of Evile, Gamma Bomb and loads more. Now they have stepped up a league or two, signed to Transend Music and issued their second full length opus 'The Blood of The Titans'.

Now on first impressions I got say this album is an absolute belter. Eight (nine if you include the obligatory mellow orchestrated intro tune)  tracks of pure driving old school headbangable metal that sums up all that is good about the UK metal scene at the moment.

As soon as the aforementioned intro fades out you are assaulted by a glorious wall of raw sonic steel by the name of Echoes Of an Unclear Past, a cut that has all the power and class of the late lamented Toranaga. Vocalist Neil Stevens grows and snarls like a good un, guitars thrash and pound and the rhythm section bangs away like a redneck gun nut who has a got a new assault rifle for Christmas, then suddenly out of nowhere we hit a sublime mellow acoustic section which provides a moment of calm tranquility before the brutality returns via a superb build up that wouldn't be out of place on an Iron Maiden album. And remember all this is just on the first track.

From that point on it just gets even better. Function Of The Human Condition has a touch of Onslaughts classic album 'The Force' about it and features some fantastic controlled shred lead work. My Own Enemy is a cracking riff heavy workout, Eyes of Madness with its dark and grinding riffage is as heavy as a big heavy thing in a high gravity field, Death Takes Us All has a snifter of Grim Reaper style NWOBHM in the sound and album closer Claustrophobia comes over like Painkiller era Judas Priest on a Slayer trip.

To say I am enjoying this album a lot is a vast understatement, Elimination have in essence taken all the very best bits of heavy metal I have grown to love over the past 30 years and blended it into one glorious sound that manages to be both timeless and bang up to date at the same time; managing to avoid all the pitfalls of cliche on the way. No mean feat indeed.

In conclusion I've gotta say this album represents all that is good about the UK metal scene of the past 30 years or so and not only will it satisfy metal heads of past generations it will enlighten the young of today into all that the UK metal scene has to offer. Buy Or Die!!

For fans of... Onslaught, Revoker, Anterior, Slayer, Judas Priest, Marshall Law, etc....