Company: Self Destructo Release: 2015 Genre: Hard Rock Reviewer: Vinaya
Lots you can groove to
Saw these high-octane Detroit rockers opening for The Atomic Bitchwax this year, and it proved a highly (!) appropriate pairing, given the somewhat stoner-friendly but sometimes punky riff rock they peddle. If anything, Against The Grain's performance was a bit frantic and lacking in dynamics, reminding me of bands like Rhode Island rockers She Rides, who could be insanely energetic but lacked the songs to make an impression beyond the barroom. But this album was a pleasant surprise, boasting a strength of both riff writing and musicianship that many bands of this type seem to lack. As a result, this may be a rare example of a super-energetic rock band actually sounding a bit better on record (or mp3, as the case may be) than they do live. In particular, sprinklings of Thin Lizzy-influenced harmony guitar work help them rise above the pack, as does the occasional (slightly) tricky arrangement, like in "Pendulum." But if you just want it loud and fast, check out "Til We Die," "Afraid of Nothing" and "Run For Your Life." Gotta love the slamming, blues-influenced uptempo groove of "Nighttime," which is further enhanced by harmonica, no less. In any case, nothing life-altering here, but lots you can groove to, and for more than just an inebriated night out at your local watering hole. And again, that's more than you can say for many bands attempting this type of sound.
About this Writer: Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.
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