I’m always excited to hear new music but when a band name checks Alter Bridge, Black Stone Cherry, Pantera, Alice In Chains, Godsmack and Guns N Roses as primary influences it’s always going to get my curiosity racing. So when I was given the task of reviewing Crashgate’s debut album ‘Crude Jokes, Death Notes & Unicorns’ I was quite literally salivating with anticipation. Would this album quence my appetite or leave me with a sour taste in the mouth? Read on to find out.
The album inaugurates with ‘Tear It Down’ as the ‘Intro’ track is essentially part of the same song, placed there to paint a moody and atmospheric scene before igniting into a raging riff that any of the aforementioned influences would be proud of. Crunchy guitars duel with a tight as a tick bass and drum combo. Craig Sheridan’s vocals are typical of a majority of modern british hard rock, with an accentuated english accent cutting through at times sounding a little pedestrian.
A lot of that however is down to taste and it’s obviously part of his vocal style as demonstrated in ‘As One’. With Sheridan holding notes above the hard n’ heavy riff proving that there’s more substance and skill to his vocals than we’re shown on the previous track. ‘As One’ is the standout track on the album, from the outset you have it pinned down and know where it’s going. A sign of a good single.
Black Stone Cherry make their presence felt on ‘Whiskey Makes Me Frisky’, ‘Dodging the Bullet’ and the intros to ‘Red Rosey Jack’ and ‘The Getaway’ but it’s confined to the riffs. There’s strong elements of Godsmack in the all of the above but none more so than on the final track ‘Deal With It’.
‘Whiskey Makes Me Frisky’ also displays hints of Pantera but again this is with the music only as the vocals are emblematic of modern british metal and hard rock. The chorus is the strong and the machinegun guitar work is backed up by a full barrage of heavy artillery from the drums. It’s not as clear cut or as catchy as ‘As One’ but is on par with ‘Red Rosey Jack’ and ‘Dodging the Bullet’. This quintet of tracks help raise what could have been a fairly run-of-the-mill album into a much more enticing prospect.
As ‘The Getaway’ begins it’s promising enough but fails to deliver the knockout blow that tracks 3, 4, 5 and 7 do. The same can be said of the remaining tracks; they are well formed and I can imagine that they’d be great live tracks but essentially there’s nothing outstanding about them either. A great effort nonetheless and Crashgate should definitely not be discourage by my comments.
With ‘Crude Jokes, Death Notes & Unicorns’, Crashgate have shown they can produce a very good album indeed and if they can build on what they’ve achieved here there’s no reason the next album won’t bring more accolades and send them onto the next level.
Crude Jokes, Death Notes & Unicorns
02 Tear It Down
03 As One
04 Whiskey Makes Me Frisky
05 Red Rosey Jack
06 The Getaway
07 Dodging the Bullet
08 Deal With It
Craig Sheridan – Lead Vocals
Brian Andrews – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Toby Dorman – Guitar/Backing Vocals
Shaun Roche – Bass
Richard Keeler – Drums