Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dead Weight Burden - "Drop The Rock"

DWB are a southern styled, blues based, hard rock band from Portchester,NY. Their current full length album on Extra Large Records is titled "Drop The Rock" and it's a 10 song slab of pure, sludgy american rock n' roll. "Maybe" kicks the set off with vicous, biting guitar riffing going straight for the throat and showing us we are in for a grimy and raw listening experience. This is blue collared, whiskey swilling, bar fight rock. Frontman Greg Sotire's axe work calls to mind the frantic playing of vintage Stevie Ray Vaughan, mixed with the huge sound and catchy phrasing of Tony Iommi. The term "Power Trio" may be often used and sometimes over stated, but that is exactly what Dead Weight Burden are. John Scampoli's tight, funky style and Cheech Carriero's deep, thumping bass grooves melt flawlessly into each other while simultameously accenting Greg's riffs and snarling vocals. "lol I'm In Jail" could easily stand toe-to-toe with the heaviest and catchiest of songs you could find in Clutch's discography. A funky, burning ball of blues that gets your head nodding, and piledrives your skull with a doomy, heavy metal underbite. "Shake Like A Leaf" is a touch more laid back with an almost Alice In Chains feel. This track oozes with grungy guitar licks, melodic vocals and huge, moody bridges that recall the days of torn denim and flannel shirts. If people still listened to FM radio and MTV still played music videos, I could easily see this being Dead Weight Burden's "single". "Tomorrow's Sunshine" is another steamrolling, riff-o-rama, melding angry Clutch licks with a spacy, open chorus that calls to mind the seminal Sabbath tune "Killing Yourself to Live". Greg's leads here and throughout the CD call to mind the great blues rock players we all love. Influences from Jimmy Page, Allen Collins and Jimi Hendrix are all present in his screaming solos, while also letting his original style shine through. "It Goes Us There" is just dirty, unfiltered blues at it's best. The swinging riffing, screaming solos and bouncy backbeat are sure to put a smile on the faces of every SRV fan within earshot. "Smoke And Ash" is one of the most interesting songs in the set for me. This is a slow, dreary mellow track and reminds me alot of some of the quieter tracks from Down's "2 : A Bustle In Your Hedgerow" album. It has the ominous vibe of "Landing on the Mountains of Megiddo" complete with female vocals here too, but also has the jazzy sway of "Lies, I dont Know What They Say". It's moody and inspired, dark and angry with shades of black and grey and dripping with Louisiana swamp scum. "Greasy Fingers" is short, fun and to the point. The kind of catchy, rockin' track that warrants multiple listens. Crank this one up in the car with the windows down and you'll want to constantly "rewind that man!". The unforgettable riffs and memorable lyrics make this one a standout track. "Not My Burden" hits hard with a ton of 70's classic southern rock swagger. This tune is the metal version of Lynyrd Skynyrd. I can easily hear Ronnie Van Zant singing this chorus "It's not my burden no more, it's not my heart out on the floor!". I guarantee Van Zant and co. would be proud to lump this tune in with their classic "Gimme Back My Bullets" release, and it would fit into the set perfectly. "Convocation of Venus" is my favorite track here, this song absolutely crushes with heaviness and funky groove. This tune is completely covered in Corrosion of Conformity worship. The plodding basslines, drumming totally in the pocket and the crazy riff changes pull on my heart strings. This is what I would call red-neck Black Sabbath at it's filthiest. "Fireflies" closes this album out in almost power ballad fashion. Clean guitars strum their way through huge verses and extremely catchy choruses. This track gives off a grunge meets southern rock vibe, think the Allman Brothers meets early Pearl Jam, especially with the intense lead guitar piece. I've been anxiously waiting for DWB to put out a full length for a while now, and they hit a homerun with "Drop The Rock". While they showcase their influences, this band is all around very original and a breath of fresh air in the local music scene. Dead Weight Burden are old school, southern fried blues with a heavy metal attitude. Metallica jamming with Skynyrd, Stevie Ray Vaughan collaborating with Down and Clutch writing songs with 1970's era Ted Nugent. "Drop The Rock" is the perfect soundtrack to working on your Harley in the garage, cruisin' in your pickup with the volume cranked, or unwinding after a long work day with a cold 6 pack. Hit the band up at hit the "Like" button and ask how to get a copy of this killer CD. You can also keep up with the bands gig schedule there, go see these dudes live and grab a disk in person!

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