Interview with Jason Rockman, Vocalist of Slaves On Dope!

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We were recently able to catch up with Slaves On Dope frontman Jason Rockman. If you aren’t familiar with the band you are probably under the age of 25 or you’ve been living under a large rock. The band stormed the scene in the late 90’s and early 2000’s and won fans over from their stomping ground in Montreal, Canada all the way across the U.S. They were slung in the nu-metal category with other bands of that time frame, but they aren’t really a band you can put in such a narrowly defined genre. I remember vividly buying the album “Inches from the Mainline” just because I thought the album art was cool. Sometimes back then that is how you bought albums, sometimes you won and sometimes you lost. This one was a major win. Slaves was different, they brought a lot of elements to their sound that made them stand out and that is why they still have fans addicted and eagerly awaiting new material.

Metal Nexus: So Slaves On Dope spent some time apart from around 2004 to 2009, What inspired you guys to reform?

Jason Rockman: Kevin and i took some much needed space away from the band, and sorted out life after slaves..we both needed to reinvent ourselves, and we both agree it was the best thing we could have ever done for the future of slaves. we both came back to the table with renewed interest in writing and creating, and it shows in the music we have made since, and are continuing to make
Metal Nexus: When you reformed was there an immediate chemistry or was there an adjustment period to get back in the rhythm with the band?

Rockman: It was like no time had passed. We took to it like a fish in water

MN: You released “Over the Influence” in 2012, How did that seem to go over?

Rockman: The last album was a lot of fun to do. We had zero expectations, and gave zero fucks what people thought of it. We did it purely to please ourselves, and in the process, it ended up making our fans pretty happy. Just the fact that we were back at it was enough to please some, and being able to produce our own videos to accompany the songs was amazing!

MN: We haven’t heard much from you guys as of lately, what has been going on with you, as well as the band?

Rockman: I am really busy at CHOM and CJAD, and work with Heavy Montreal as a spokesperson for the festival. I am also very involved in Montreal and Ottawa Comiccons, and am developing a TV show about Geek culture. Kevin has a studio, and is a full time producer. He also plays a mean game of hockey

MN: We have heard that you guys have been working on a new album, when can we expect another release from Slaves on Dope?

Rockman: We are in the process or recording the next album, HORSE, and hope to have it out in late 2015

MN: I know you have played Amesia Rockfest the past 2 years and will be playing Heavy Montreal in the next couple weeks, How are crowds receiving you guys? Has anything changed with how you perform on stage?

Rockman: It has been great! The crowds seem to really dig it. We are obviously older, but i think we do pretty well for a couple of middle aged men.

MN: A lot of late 90’s and early 2000’s nu metal bands are making waves like Flaw and 40 Below Summer, Do you think nu-metal is making a comeback? Or do you think it never really left?

Rockman: It is definitely starting to make a comeback. Let’s face it, it was a great time for bands in that era, and the aggression was there, It also had a groove to it that just doesn’t seem to happen in newer rock bands

MN: Do you have any plans for a U.S. tour in the near future?

Rockman: Fingers crossed, we should be stateside in 2016. I know the first city that will get a SLAVES U.S show will be Madison, WI..WJJO and the on air staff there are like family…we owe them big time. Randy Hawke and Ozz the bomb.

MN: Also as most people may or may not know you are on the other side of the microphone now too. You of course have your own radio show called “Amped with The Rockman”. How has that been working on the media/radio side of things? Who has some of your favorite interviews been with?

Rockman: I have the best job ever. I am in the position to help young bands get airplay, and really play a part in their development . I feel like SANTA when i am able to tell a band that we have added them to rotation. Some of the best interviews have been with U2, Peter Gabriel, Dave Grohl, Phil Anselmo, Ice T, Mastodon, The Offspring, Queens of the Stone Age and New Order

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I’m sure Slaves On Dope fans worldwide are very pleased they are working on a new album titled “Horse”, as of July 27th Jason was laying down some vocals. Great to know as well that they are doing everything themselves and have 100% artistic freedom. I also want to add that Mr. Rockman celebrated a major anniversary recently. July 25th marked his 23rd year sober and we couldn’t be happier for him. We look forward to hearing the new album and hopefully seeing them on U.S. soil soon.

Blind Haven

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the state of the month*

This month’s state is Michigan!

In 2014 one of Michigan’s best up and coming bands was formed. Blind Haven was formed a year ago, by four guys who swore an oath to creating and maintaining a sound that holds no boundaries by simply obeying the riff. Just by that sentiment alone it should make most anyone a fan. They released their debut “Obey.Worship.Decay” in January at Lakebotttom Recording House. The same place State Of The Art alums Wizard Union also recorded theirs. Blind Haven is Dustin Bourns – Vocals, Heath LaTour – Guitar, Drew Rogers – Bass, Andrew Owen – Drums. If you are a fan of slow drawn out riffs with thick bass lines this is what you have been searching for your whole life. The riffs ring out like a sloth creeping up a tree. Slow doomy doom is what you are in store for. It may be as slow as moss growing on a grave, and let me tell you right now, when it slows down to this pace it kicks more ass than an 8 legged billy goat. I’m not exactly sure if we should thank the drinking water in Michigan or if I should personally thank the mothers who spawned these four guys for bringing them into this shit hole we call earth.

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With the exception of “Burning Ritual” the majority of the songs on the album are 9 minutes long. Songs of this length can usually get boring after a while, this is not the case here. “Stagnant Memories” creeps into my speakers and what comes out should be pleasant to any ear. Vocalist Dustin Bourns has that great median where he doesn’t over do anything, and doesn’t under do it either. It’s simple in the most perfect way. The same really goes for everything with the sound they create. Guitarist Heath LaTour brings simplicity back with his riffing. He does it in a way that helps showcase everything else going on in each song. The simplicity in everything makes each member shine even more. What these guys have is some of the best chemistry in a band I have seen in a long time. I’m hopeful I will be able to see them tour the south soon. After listening to this on repeat for a few days I’m anxious to hear what they will bring to the table next. Give these guys a chance, especially if you are a fan of doom. If you even remotely like Crowbar you will love these guys. Buy “Obey.Worship.Decay”, you will not be disappointed.

Follow them at the following links:

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Children Of Bodom Release Teaser & First Song For Upcoming Album “I Worship Chaos” [Video]

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Children Of Bodom have become one of Finland’s finest exports. The speed metal group are preparing to unleash their ninth studio album, “I Worship Chaos”, worldwide on October 2nd, 2015 via Nuclear Blast Records. Today the band has released the first trailer from the album in which bassist Henkka explains the concept behind the artwork (created by Tuomas Korpi) for the new album.

Here is Henkka explaining the artwork.

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Artwork by: Tuomas Korpi

I Worship Chaos Track Listing:

01. I Hurt
02. My Bodom (I Am The Only One)
03. Morrigan
04. Horns
05. Prayer For The Afflicted
06. I Worship Chaos
07. Hold Your Tongue
08. Suicide Bomber
09. All For Nothing
10. Widdershins

Bonus Tracks (digibook only):
11. Mistress Of Taboo (Plasmatics cover)
12. Danger Zone (Kenny Loggins cover)
13. Black Winter Day (Amorphis cover)

I Worship Chaos will be available in following formats:
– CD + DVD digibook (incl. bonus DVD and three bonus tracks!)
– CD
– 2LP (black, clear, silver, yellow, picture)
– digibook + canvas (mail order edition)

Here is the first song release from the album “Morrigan”

 

Pre-order your copy of CHILDREN OF BODOM’s new record here.

Keep up with Children Of Bodom at the following links.

http://www.cobhc.com

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Interview: Brad Hursh of Love &Vengence and formerly of V Shape Mind.

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Brad Hursh (Photo Courtesy of J. Burger)

Brad Hursh was formerly in the band V Shape Mind that was formed in 1999 in Illinois. They released one album “Cul-De-Sac” in 2003 via Universal. The hit single off that record “Monsters” featured Chad Grey from Mudvayne. They toured with Mudvayne and Powerman 5000 as well as some other well known acts. I was fortunate enough to catch the band on tour with Mudvayne and it made me a fan instantly. One of the most in your face and quality sounding bands of that era. The catchy melodies and hammering riffs were just some of the things that made them who they were. There is no doubt that anyone who seen them live would walk away a fan for life. The band called it quits and played their last show in May of 2004 in their hometown of Decatur, Illinois. Since then Brad has done some solo work and has now formed a new band called “Love & Vengence”. The new band also features Vic Zientara who was in V Shape Mind with Brad. We were able to get in touch with Brad via email and talk about his new project and how much music has changed in recent years.

Metal Nexus: V Shape Mind released Cul-De-Sac in 2003 and toured with Mudvayne and Powerman 5000, What were the contributing factors to the band ending?

Brad Hursh: Yeah, we did a lot of touring that year with those bands and also got to play with some other killer bands during that time. One of the highlights for me was playing with Anthrax at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa. That venue has some great history and Anthrax were one of my favorite bands growing up. There were lots of factors in the band breaking up, which are very common tales in the music industry. Our label telling us a lot of things that were just flat-out lies while doing next to nothing to promote cul-de-sac. We felt like we did everything they asked us to do and they chose to put their attention/money elsewhere. At the same time, finding out that our team of people we surrounded ourselves with, manager/lawyer/etc…weren’t the kind of people we needed to look out for us. There’s obviously more to the story but those are the main reasons we felt like we were back at square one, after busting our asses to get to the point where we were. It left a very bad taste in my mouth and I wasn’t really interested in “dancing” for the industry any longer.

Metal Nexus: David Bottrill produced the album, he has worked with some amazing bands like Tool, Dream Theatre, Mudvayne, Staind, and Flaw. How was it working with him?

Brad: David is an awesome guy and a fantastic musical mind. We were so stoked to have him involved. He was looking for a band to sign for his upstart label through Universal. Basically, he got us signed just from a 5-song demo that we did in Minneapolis. He was just amazing to work with, he knew how to get the best out of us a band and out of the songs I had written. Plus, I was already a huge fan of his work so I was completely stoked to be working with such a badass!

MN: Your current project is entitled Love & Vengence, The story is you had two shows booked before you had any material written and didn’t have a full band yet, How did that happen?

Brad: That is true. When I decided that I wanted to put this project together, I had mentioned it to a few people and a couple of shows were offered. I think I had 2-months time to put together a band and write a short set of material. That’s definitely not an approach that I usually take with a project, but I figured it would light a fire under my ass to make it happen. Deadlines can be a good thing, occasionally, since I usually don’t write at all unless I’m feeling inspired.

MN: The band has been formed since 2012, how has fans reacted so far to the music? When can we expect a release?

Brad: Love & Vengeance is a project that we (the band members) decide to do whenever we feel like being active. There’s no pressure that we put on ourselves for shows, etc. We may go a few months without even getting together to practice and we’ve actually only had 3 shows. We like to be picky about playing as opposed to just playing everything that comes our way. Recording an EP has been talked about for quite a while now but it’s just been a matter of everyone’s schedules lining up. That being said, I believe we’re gonna get that ball rolling very soon since it’s something we all really want to happen.

MN: The music industry has changed drastically and record companies aren’t always the best way to go anymore as I’m sure you would agree. West Virginia metal band Byzantine has recently had a lot of success with their album they self-released and are topping the charts on satellite radio. What do you think the advantages and disadvantages are of self-releasing an album?

Brad: I think self-releasing is awesome and the way it should be. I’m not a fan of big labels and the machine in general, so doing it yourself really appeals to me. Of course, it takes money, time and resources to do it yourself but you’re also in control at the same time. Major labels deserve the position they are in from decades of greed, so fuck them, haha! Bands now are making their own records, merch and booking their own tours. Once again, it takes money to make it all happen but at least it’s on their terms and that’s a beautiful thing!

MN: A lot of bands are turning to the fans to actually help fund studio time and production of a new album. How do you feel about Kickstarter and things like that as a way to help get money to make an album?

Brad: It goes back to the previous question/answer, but I think it’s great. Unfortunately money is what it takes to get things going and let’s face it, most musicians are poor, haha! One of the guys in L&V actually mentioned the idea of a Kickstarter-type of thing to help with making our EP. I’m not real sure how to make that happen but I’m not above asking for money…….hence the “most musicians are poor” comment 😉

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If you haven’t heard Brad and Vic’s former band V Shape Mind you have truly been missing out. The greed of some record companies has cost the music industry a lot. There has been many musicians call it quits because of record companies wanting a larger share of the pie, and just micro managing them. We are highly anticipating the debut release of “Love & Vengence”. You can follow the band on their facebook here.

Here is V Shape Mind’s single “Monsters” featuring Chad Grey.

Poynte Release New Lyric Video for “The Villian” [Video]

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The ATL has produced yet another quality band. Poynte has always been adamant about releasing heartfelt music that fans can connect with. The new lyric video “The Villian” is off the album Discreet Enemy that release in February. You can catch Poynte on tour currently with Trapt, Sons Of Texas, and Guns Out At Sundown. We will be catching these guys on the road in Johnson City, Tennessee at Capone’s on July 29th. Come out and support these guys along with the other great acts that are on this great bill. See you there.

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Make sure to keep up with Poynte on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And here it is…. “The Villian”

Wizard Union

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the state of the month*

This month’s state is Michigan!

Get ready to have a 3 piece doom groove band fill the void in your soul with spectacular riffs and hooks.  Wizard Union are from the Great Lakes state of Michigan (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti). If you haven’t heard of these guys you aren’t trying hard enough to find good music. Their release Smoking Coffins is a kick ass groove filled escapade. Listen to the track “Into the Wizard’s Sleeve” and you will forever be a fan of these guys. Sometimes a three piece leaves room for improvement in the sound where something is lacking, this is not the case here. They showcase how a trio can bring you everything you want and need in a bands sound and more. Vocalist and guitarist Samir pulls double duty with his howls on the mic and riffing on his six string. The bass throughout the song sets this low vibrating tone that makes every vein in your body shake. The groove is created by bassist Aaron and the skin slaying drummer Larry who is also in another awesome band called Lizerrd. The songs aren’t overwhelming you with vocals, it’s the perfect amount. The vocals shriek through rattle through your head and linger throughout the day. The melodies created are so catchy you find yourself rhythmically humming and headbanging. The band was founded in 2012 and comprising this type of sound in such a short time. Normal bands spend years and years honing their sound, but Wizard Union is anything but normal. The album has been out over a year, it was released in January 2014. The album was recorded at Lakebottom Recording House where some other great bands have recorded like Lord Centipede, Serpent Speech, Blind Haven, Cloud Rat.

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The band just wrapped up a performance at Back To The Field 3 festival in Ypsilanti where they were heralded as one of the tops bands to grace the stage. We certainly hope these goes can slow things down enough to make it down south to play some shows. Think of them as a slower groovier grunge version of Electric Wizard. In all honestly though, they create this sound that become all their own. Once you hear these guys you will be wanting to add a new patch to your denim vest, so make some room. Check out “Smoking Coffins” on their bandcamp and show these guys some love for making some amazing metal.

Follow Wizard Union:

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and check out Lakebottom Recording House as well.

Review: SpaceMetal Debut Album

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11751541_10152828468536511_1974429572_oThe band SpaceMetal have released their debut album and it is pretty far out. After getting an earful of what they have to offer you may think they are from a planet far far away. However, they are indeed from planet earth and yet another product to come from the great state of Louisiana. The self titled debut has some space themed lyrics but the song that first garnered my attention was “Witness to the Witch”. The song with very meaningful earthbound lyrics can connect with most anyone. It’s one of those songs that make you want to take a long drive. They really champion the retro rock sound, with a dash of doom mixed in as well. The riffs come tearing at you in warp speed. It sounds like the band was locked into a time capsule in 1973 and is just now being opened. The retro sound has been making a huge comeback with lots of bands, but the sound Spacemetal achieve is really what everyone is after. The album was recorded in a 1970s analog recording studio, so that can be attributed to the sound somewhat. Singer Travis Acosta has this attention grabbing voice, it keeps lingering in your ear and the melodies are suddenly rolling off your tongue and before you realize it you are singing along. The guitar players John Maracichin and Chris Trentecosta are bound to have bloody fingers by the way the riffs ring out through this album. “The Millipede” starts out with this dominating doom stomp type sound and then the guitars chime in and take over. It has all the ingredients for a classic rock song. Of course the guitars and vocals are up front but the songs would sound completely incomplete without the backbeat of the bass and drums. In songs like “Terra Cat” the drummer Chris Kain is the most integral part of what makes the song have this pace setting groove. The bass lines aren’t without notice either, those thick low tones laid down by Rob Norton help the guitar work stand out even more.

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Spacemetal is a band that could and should become a household name. The debut album is independently released and I’m sure they will soon be having labels beating down their doors. There is a demand for the great tunes they provide and hopefully we will be able to see them out on the road soon as they will be gathering fans all over this planet and others as well. The album was released April 2nd and while we wish we had heard it sooner we are now wishing they will go into hyper speed and have another album completed soon. You can pick up this album for $6 from the bandcamp page they have set up (Link Below). The album is a through and through album that has a tremendous re-listen value, pick it up today.

Bandcamp: https://spacemetal1.bandcamp.com/releases

Follow them on Facebook.

Review: Hateure – Body & Soil

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Doom and sludge music usually has ties to the South. Something about our lifestyle and relaxed slow paced lives always churned out some of the slowest sludge around. There is a new destination in sludge. Pateros, Philippines is the home of sludge masters Hateure. The band actually started out as a progressive style metal band in 2007. They Released two albums in that vein of music (Makabagong Anyo ng Galit, 2010 and A Lustrous Danseur, 2013). It wasn’t long after that the band started to morph and change their sound. Eventually evolving into a doom/sludge/post metal band. They have released their new EP on July 13th, 2015 called “Body and Soil” and are in the process of finishing a full length album to release by the end of the year or early 2016. The EP currently out is 3 tracks, but it is more than enough music to let you know the direction this band is headed. Let me go ahead and tell you now that these guys aren’t playing around, they have found their true sound with sludge/doom and they will soon be climbing to the top of every metalheads favorite bands. The EP was mixed and mastered by guitarist Ronnel Vivo. The first track of the EP is an instrumental. I may be a little impatient but I couldn’t wait for the vocals to chime in even though the instrumental song and title track “Body & Soil” really is true to the sludge sound we all know. Track 2 “Reptilian Blues” is where we really get to business. The song spanning almost 12 glorious minutes is like music from a demented song bird to my ears. (That is a compliment by the way). The guitar work starts the song and these deep chords bellow out so low I can feel the vibrations in my chest. Suddenly we hear the might roar of singer Earl Palma and it was well worth the wait. He holds his own when it comes to comparing him to other sludge vocal legends. The guitar work is a perfect example of sludge, but it also has these groove based tones in it as well giving the track a feel that is truly the Hateure sound. One thing that is surprising is the sound they are able to get with just the one guitarist. The bassist Genesis Trinidad helps set pace in tandem with the solid rhythmic drum beats by Ronaldo Vivo Jr. The band as a whole is a group of musicians that have an amazing chemistry together. The EP is a great teaser for what we can expect in a full length. Anyone that even remotely likes Sludge or doom needs to give these guys a listen because you will become a fan instantly.

Artwork by Ronaldo S. Vivo Jr.

Body & Soil Tracklisting:

1 – Body & Soil
2 – Reptilian Blues
3 – Koleoptera

You can hear and buy the EP on Bandcamp.

Follow the band on Facebook.

Here is a video of them from Sinfest performing the first 2 tracks from the new EP Body & Soil.

Bonehawk!

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*This is part of our State Of The Art series, showcasing bands every Monday from the state of the month*

This month’s state is Michigan!

The newly discovered beast called Bonehawk has escaped the confinement of the zoo. By zoo I mean Kalamazoo, Michigan. They are somewhat of a new band releasing their debut album in October of last year (2014) called “Albino Rhino”. One thing albino indicates is a rarity and that is what Bonehawk is. Every song has this simple yet complex arrangement. The first song I heard was ” Desert Sun” and I was hooked. I listened to it maybe 3 times before I moved on to another song. Vocalist Matt Helt sings with this overwhelming authority. It demands your attention but he makes it seem so natural at the same time. This is one of those bands that makes you want to kick your own ass for not knowing about them sooner. They released the debut album through Hornacious Wax Records, and it was recorded with Jim Diamond at Ghetto Recorders in Detroit, Michigan. You may be familiar with Jim Diamond as he worked with The White Stripes on their first two albums.

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Bonehawk is a band that everyone should give a chance, I promise you will not be let down. They have this vibe and sound that crosses barriers from rock to metal to psychedelic and blues. The guitar harmonies just bring everything together. The vocal style has this sense of calmness to it that is hard to explain. Songs like “Sexy Beast” are perfect examples of how everything can come together in a song. I am not normally a fan of instrumental songs. However, the title track “Albino Rhino” may have changed my mind. When you don’t include vocals in a song you really have to bring something special and they have done just that. The song immediately grabs your attention with these Sabbath like bass licks leading into the song.  Then the riffs kick in. The song is able to stand alone without lyrics, and that is a hard thing to do. We are hoping to catch these guys on the road soon if they come within a three state radius of us we will be there. We can’t wait to hear more of what they have to offer and I’m sure once you listen to them you will feel the same way.

Follow these guys on Facebook here! You can check them out on Bandcamp and buy the album here!

Review: Lynch Mob “Rebel”. [New Song “War” Streaming.]

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The namesake of the catchy hard rockin’ riff filled band Lynch Mob comes from none other than Dokken guitarist George Lynch. The band is releasing the new album entitled “Rebel” on August 21st via Frontier Music. You also have Oni Logan at the helm with his powerful vocal style that has become the voice of Lynch Mob. George has made several appearances on Vh1 Classic’s That Metal Show as a guest musician. He wowed the audience with his guitar work, which helped him attain a new generation of fans. The rest of the band is rounded out with Jeff Pilson (ex-Dokken, Foreigner, Dio) on bass and Brian Tichy (ex-Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne) on drums.

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“Rebel” track listing:

01. Automatic Fix
02. Between The Truth And A Lie
03. Testify
04. Sanctuary
05. Pine Tree Avenue
06. Jelly Roll
07. Dirty Money
08. The Hollow Queen
09. The Ledge
10. Kingdon Of Slaves
11. War

George Lynch of course spent a lot of time in hair metal bands throughout the 80’s. There may be some expectations for this album to have some hair metal elements. Let me tell you now, this is not a hair metal album. This album through and through is a melodic hard rock masterpiece. The track ” Testify” will put you into a groove induced coma. The lyrics can hit home with most anyone and will have you singing along instantly. One of the standout tracks on the album is “Pine Tree Avenue”. This track is a blues crazed fast paced anthem. Oni sings ” when we lit the fuse” and it breaks into the riff and cymbal crashes, then later slows down the pace just to hear George tickle the strings with some intricate guitar work. Moving on to the song “Jelly Roll”, it has this melodic harmony that makes the hair stand up on your arms and reminds you of Alice In Chains. All the fat has been trimmed from this song, its the purest form of what Lynch Mob dominate at; hard nosed rock n roll.

Lynch Mob is currently on tour, make sure to go see them on the road. We will be seeing them in the great mountain town of Whitesburg, Kentucky on August 7th with Pikeville, Kentucky’s hometown metal heroes in Downtrend. (www.downtrendmetal.com).

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They also new song “War” today which is available for streaming.

You can keep up with everything Lynch Mob at the following links:

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