It was August 14, 2015 when I first saw Grindhouse perform. In fact, it would be the first time that anyone would witness a show by the Columbus area foursome.
Grindhouse opened that night for Jackyl at world-renowned Alrosa Villa in Columbus and although it wasn’t a perfect beginning (small technical difficulties) I found the face-paint wearing group, to be very talented and my thoughts were that they had a chance to make it. Actually I believe my words in the review article read ‘They will surely become a hot topic on the local scene and will be headlining such events in just a matter of time. You owe it to yourself to get out of the house and go checkout this four man band first hand’.
Well fast forward thirteen months and the Grindhouse boys are heading back to Alrosa Villa on September 17th for their first CD release party. I was given the privilege of listening to the compilation early in order to review it for our readers. Here’s what I found on “The Devil You Know”.
Grindhouse proves that every song doesn’t need to be death scream ear-fest or an 80’s hair band ballad to be great. I’m not saying those are bad things but this entire CD is filled with nothing but good old fashion rock-n-roll featuring great vocals, heavy guitar riffs and licks with a solid backing of a potent rhythm section.
‘The Doctor is In’ is the intro into the full length tune ‘Welcome Home’. Filled with sounds of door bells ringing, doors slamming and a heavy walk down an echo-filled hallway, the 47 second piece intrigues the mind and does an excellent job preparing you for what you’re about to hear including front man David Adams letting you know the name of the track right at the end.
What follows is a great in-your-face song that peaks one’s interest and pulls the listener in with a nice dose of Se7en Goza’s talented fingers on the lead guitar as well as the mesmerizing vocal work of Adams. Both gentlemen are at the core of the whole CD.
‘Bulletproof Soul’ is up next and once again Goza is an animal with the six string. The former Noise Auction guitarist smacks you upside your head with masterful work that makes you want to raise your horns and rock the fuck out. If he doesn’t, pull the earplugs out because you’re missing it.
There’s a lot of that on this CD but Goza and Adams do not have exclusive rights to making an impression. While the rhythm section of Byron Basham (bass) and Felixx Alvis (drums) are more subdued compared to their over-the-top charismatic bandmates, that doesn’t hold them back from ripping the roof off with their weapons of choice.
Both are very prominent at the beginning of cut seven ‘Skeletons’ playing exclusively by themselves at the start before Adams and Goza jump on board for an in-your-grill thrill ride. The duo is also outstanding on other tracks like ‘Death Starstruck’, ‘The Wolf’ and ‘Sinner’ which precede ‘Skeletons’. Their solid blue-collar work is definitely the foundation on which this fast-paced, rock-n-roll collection is built.
‘Not your Superman’ is a tremendous bridge to my favorite track on the release, ‘Pray For Me’. Goza’s inner beast is unleashed on this track. That low growling, demon-produced sound is omnipresent from the first note of the song until the very end. Add in the harmony collaboration between himself, Adams and Basham; and ‘Pray For Me’ is a hit just waiting to happen.
Track ten is the final original on the release and it is aptly placed. The song is called ‘Shut Up and Drive’ which connects the rest of the album to the final cut, a cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Mob Rules’.
I say that ‘Shut Up and Drive’ is perfectly placed because that’s what this CD gets me in the mood to do. It takes me back to, well let’s just say a few years, when I was driving around the circuit in my Chevelle, my home stereo speakers hooked up to my cassette player and cranking out jams, such as ‘Mob Rules’.
Grindhouse’s first release is a winner in my book in every facet of rock-n-roll. “The Devil You Know” gets the heart thumping, your fists pumping and when you hear it live, I’m sure it’ll have you jumping. Or if you’re like me, you’ll have it in the CD player of your vehicle driving down the road with the bass bumping!!
Don’t forget you can join in on the fun of the release party for “The Devil You Know” at Alrosa Villa on Saturday, September 17. Also on the card will be Electric Dream Machine, Triad Eternal, Dread Engine, 8 LB Pressure, and American Bombshell.
Doors open at 6:00 p.m. for this all ages show with tickets costing $5.00 in advance or $8.00 at the door.
Hope to see all of you there. Until then this is Big L saying ‘keep those horns up and rock on’!! \m/ \m/