Alias For Now - S/T

I've always been a fan of older music. When I was at the beginning of my obsession with music, I read everything I could about the bands just before my time. All my friends, and I were obsessed with Nirvana, but I was the only one who went home, and listened to my parent's Led Zeppelin, and Allman Brothers albums. “Green Day? Yeah, sure whatever, but have you heard of Black Flag?!” I guess that's called being a hipster now, but you can rest assured that I give nary a fuck.

There's something about a band that knows how to lock into a groove that really draws me in; the reason I love old funk records is the same reason I love a great stoner rock band. Not that I would necessarily classify Alias For Now as a stoner rock band, but it's safe to say at least one of these guys owns a Clutch album or two. When they're not pumping out unrelentingly catchy 70s-style arena rock riffs, they're exuding a proto-punk flair with songs like the album opener, “Slippin' By”. This is also the only time on the album where you hear “harsh” vocals peppered in tastefully. A great, high-energy start to this roughly 25-minute collection of songs.

Equal parts MC5, and Black Sabbath, this band takes a familiar sound, and makes it their own. There's plenty of guitar-shredding goodness to be had, but not at the expense of the song itself. “Don't Say Anything” has an almost poppy bounce to it before exploding into a thick, heavy groove halfway through the song, complete with Thin Lizzy-style guitar harmonies. This is early heavy metal with a fantastic pop sensibility, a true anomaly in the current musical climate, and a very welcome one. It's no wonder this band has shared the stage with such a wide variety of rock bands, they have a little something for virtually every taste. Not to mention they put on a damn good show.

Personally, I hope this band never gets a second guitarist, the interplay between the bass, and guitar is a real treat. Both tones are delightfully fuzzy, and on “Sister Slave” you get a moment to hear the rhythm section really work during the break down. The groove on these songs is undeniable, and this album is just a fun listen in general. The closer, “Around The Bend” also allows the bass, and drums a moment in the spotlight before breaking out into a delicious Sabbath-y riff. Picture yourself in a convertible riding through the desert with this on full blast, heading towards the time of your life. This is party music. This is the return of the true spirit of rock-n-roll.

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