Billy Graziadei’s entire career is like a one-man version of Fight Club, though without the toxic masculinity and insanity. He might have some insomnia, based on his creative output and the depth of his repertoire though. As the co-founder of Biohazard, he helped put New York back on the map when it came to nineties metal and hardcore, inspiring many others. As a voice in other bands like Suicide City, Powerflo and in his producing career, Billy is unmistakable as a vocalist and musician. So, his long-gestating solo project BillyBio arrives as a pre-holiday gift and brings a surprisingly fun and upbeat debut with Feed The Fire (AFM Records), as opposed to the typical heavy but dour aesthetic we often get.
The album kicks off with the fast thrashy Punk of ‘Freedom’s Never Free’, and you get an early dose of what you can expect from this release. Basically, the kitchen sink of Billy’s musical DNA all in one song. Like most of the album, the track is short and to the point.
The title track is really telling. Another fast Punk-feeling track, the awesome melodies really give you a picture of where Billy’s head is at these days musically. Known best for his piercing scream and his rap flow, it’s great to hear him carry a completely sung melody line again. The song is super catchy and I found myself singing the hook over and over afterward. ‘No Apologies No Regrets’ has a great call and response gang vocals.
There is no mistaking ‘Generation Z’ and its blue-collar mantra/chorus. While he is not singing about himself, he definitely seems to be finding common ground with the younger clique, without pandering. I mean there is no misinterpreting “Fuck the world and the upper class!” sung over and over, right?
‘Sick And Tired’ is the most Biohazard sounding track to my Biohazard loving ears. Heavy, angry and ultimately uplifting. When that half-time groove hits, and you hear Billy’s gravelly-voiced rasping raps, it’s unmistakable. The chorus is another impressive melodic charge.
Overall the entire album is a big ball of PMA in the face of the strains of life, with a few topical issues tossed in for good measure. ‘Rise And Slay’ is going to be on the workout “Staylist” for the foreseeable future. It’s got that classic Hardcore Metal groove and crust to it. What I like most about this album is that it feels fresh, and not just an artist relying on what has got him here. Billy knows what makes his sound tick, but tries for new sounds and slick new moments. You can also hear just how much the crowd is going to go off to this material in a live setting. Late album tracks like ‘STFU’, ‘Trepidation’, ‘Enemy’ and ‘Dissafected World’ are solid and fun.
It’s great to see this album finally seeing the light of day where people can get this flavor back in their ears. It’s a vibe I’ve been missing lately, except when I listen to my old records.
8 / 10