ALBUM REVIEW: Toxic Holocaust – Primal Future: 2019

Listen, guys, this opening statement probably isn’t going to be the most logical thing ever said about a Toxic Holocaust album, but Primal Future: 2019‘s biggest issue may just be that it’s stuck in the 1980s. Yeah, I know that love for Reagan era Thrash Metal is the house that Toxic Holocaust has built and resided in since their inception so save your comments. I mean Primal Future: 2019 has more reverence for that decade than Stranger Things, The Goldbergs and Michael J. Fox combined. Continue reading

Noisem – Cease To Exist

Something hideous has come back to life in the state of Maryland. After disappearing below ground for almost three years (save for one transitory single released last year), two founding members of Baltimore Death/Grind/Hardcore/Thrash act Noisem have clawed their way slowly back up through the dank, fetid earth to vomit their third full length(ish) album all over our faces. Continue reading

Dee Snider – For The Love Of Metal

Let’s make one thing clear – if after seeing the name Dee Snider, you were just expecting to hear another standard, classic sounding, mid-late eighties Twisted Sister record, then you might want to take a moment before diving in. There are no callbacks to big hair and garish warpaint here, no ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’, or ‘I Wanna Rock’ bouncy bubblegum rock songs, and there’s absolutely no campy “Twisted Christmas” seasonal type fun. Hell, this is barely even a Dee Snider solo album in the classic sense, so you can also forget about him repeating the likes of Never Let The Bastards Wear You Down (Koch), his Desperado album Bloodied But Unbowed (Destroyer), or even his previous solo release We Are the Ones (earMUSIC). Continue reading

Game Over – Claiming Supremacy

Formed in 2008 in Ferrara, Emilia-Romagna, Italian Thrashers Game Over are another act, who along with the likes of Bonded By Blood, Evil Invaders, Toxic Waltz, Merciless Death, and the irritatingly misspelt Fabulous Desaster, wear their influences on their sleeve by choosing a name based on a classic Thrash album or song. Continue reading

Expander – Endless Computer

In the year 2015, and with Phased Plasma Rifles set cautiously to stun, Austin thrashers Expander announced themselves to the multiverse with a self-titled, independently released single, and their Laws of Power (Night Rhythms Recordings) six-track EP. Now, having woken from cryostasis, and with weapons set firmly to disintegrate, the Texan four-piece return with their full-length début Endless Computer (Nuclear War Now! Productions). Continue reading

All Hell – The Grave Alchemist

Formed in Asheville, North Carolina in 2013, All Hell aren’t exactly the type of band you would expect to discover in such an unassuming and picturesque mountain town. Located in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the main pastimes in Asheville appear to be walking, shopping, eating, drinking beer, and taking in the scenery. Certainly not listening to Black Metal/Deathrock/Punk/horror-influenced Thrash Metal. Continue reading

Davie Allan/Joel Grind – Split EP

Davie Allan Joel Grind - Split EP cover ghostcultmag

For those of you who are unaware (and I dare say there will be a few), Davie Allan is a Californian guitarist probably best known for his work on a variety of biker movies in the 1960s. Taking the traditional surf guitar sound, he twisted it into something entirely different using the newly invented Fuzzbox. Allan’s fuzzed up guitar tracks have been used in many films over the years, most recently in Quentin Tarantino‘s Inglourious Basterds.

Joel Grind, on the other hand, comes from a completely different arena. His band Toxic Holocaust have been tearing up the Thrash scene since their inception in 1999. Their (or rather his, as Grind played all the instruments on the band’s first few releases himself) brand of Punk/Thrash relying more on creating sweaty, violent carnage in the moshpit rather than any kind of bizzaro Surf Rock atmosphere. Grind is no stranger to his music being used on soundtracks either though, having ‘Bitch’ from ‘Conjure and Command’ (Relapse) blasting out during a car chase in a Season 5 episode of Sons of Anarchy.

An entirely instrumental affair, this split four track EP (Relapse) consists of some seriously dirty hard rockin’ surf music with a greasy ’60s/early ’70s vibe. From the moment the motorbikes cease their revving at the beginning of Allan’s opening track ‘Recycled Too’ you are immediately thrust into a world of psychedelic, violent biker movies like Devil’s Angels, The Wild Angels or even Werewolves on Wheels where Hell’s Angels smoke weed, drop acid, have hairy, leathery sex, and beat up anyone who looks at them in a funny way. And all this happily continues with his second track ‘Buzz Saw Effect’.

Unsurprisingly, Grind’s contribution is somewhat heavier than Allan’s. ‘Peacekeeper’ kicks off his side of the disc enthusiastically, while second cut ‘The Invisible Landscape’ is driven by a more traditional clean surf guitar tone. Also, being instrumental tracks only, people who aren’t familiar with, or don’t usually care for, Grind’s Dalek-receiving-a-proctological-exam vocals don’t have to worry here.

If Rob Zombie directed a movie about Hell’s Angels on acid fighting a gang of machine gun wielding Go-Go dancers on the back roads of Hell, then this would absolutely be the soundtrack.

8.0/10

GARY ALCOCK

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