Metal Forces Magazine Reviews Atlanta’s Gunpowder Gray

GUNPOWDER GRAY

from Metal Forces Magazine

GUNPOWDER GRAY

A side project of Disfigurement’s Nate Godbee (vocals) and Adam Besserer (guitar), Atlanta-based Gunpowder Gray are a sleazy metal band with punky attitude and traditional metal influence, all ofwhich enables the band to somehow ply together a Guns N’ Roses style of scratchy swagger and blues-tinged rock thathas a tendency to lean towards Black Sabbath. Oddly convincing and often noisy throughout, Gunpowder Gray’s debut EP is better off as a one-off piece of work in that it has that refreshing energy that will no doubt disappear should these guys decide to extend the fun.

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This is a seven-track affair that opens with the bluesy sway of the title track which comes complete with stoner-laced guitars that exude a lightly salted doom plod; think Pentagram to some extent with an Axl Rose imitation (Guns N’ Roses) on vocals! Okay, so it’s not that simple, or flawed, but riff-wise it’s basic bluesymetal boasting a riff you may have heard a million times before, although it does a good job at marrying 80s-styled sleaze metal with weightier grooves.

Gunpowder Gray1

‘Cummin’ My Way’ adds extra lycra to proceedings in that it’s a trash can wallop of a track that sounds like it’s been plucked from 1987, such is its catty vocal sneer and bubble-gum riff. It’s a tune I can’t ignore, however, even with its nod to Poison’s ‘Look What The Cat Dragged In’, which is probably completely unintentional.

Even so, it does a better job at aping 80s glam metal than so many other modern bands, and there’s no ignoring the doomier guise these guys adopt at times. The 70s influence is strong throughout, with Sam Vaughan’s strong bass melodies and Joey O’ Brien’s thumping giving the sound a real steely backbone as Besserer, accompanied by Chris Heffernan, provide those salty licks and driving riffs.

Gunpowder Gray

All the tracks on the record – from the cool ‘Outta Sight’ through my favourite ‘Dancing With Death’ to the closing ‘Saints’ – suggest a band who could well carve a career should they find the time. For now though, this self-titled debut platter may turn out to be one of those savvy cult releases that may well, and rather tragically, slip under your radar. It’s not often you hear a band nonchalantly and efficiently fuse together doom-laced rock with kick ass sleaze metal, both of which are sewn together with a traditional metal punch. This album is a nice surprise, and one that should wipe those blues away.

Neil Arnold

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