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Sledgeback - People's Choice

A Seattle Twist on So Cal Punk

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating


Sledgeback - People's Choice

Sledgeback - People's Choice

Tens of thousands of years from now, when musical paleontologists are looking for the missing link between Social Distortion and the Swingin' Utters, the evolutionary chain will point to Sledgeback.

For the most part, Sledgeback is a musical combination of those two bands, complemented by the husky snarl of Hungarian frontman Gabi Hun.

Sledgeback's Guitars Know When to Drive Fast, When to Slow Down

People's Choice kicks off with "Pants Off" which is a serious driving punk song than the title would suggest. A fierce aggressive guitar line carries the music all the way through the first three songs.

The album is excellently organized; the first three tracks are all hard fast punk songs, yet just when you think you might be getting worried that every song on the album will sound the same, the fourth track, "How Far" kicks in. It's an anthemic break, slowing things down a bit, giving you a chance to rest for a moment before tearing into the hard fast stuff again.

Five tracks later, the band breaks away from the heavy fast music again with the more melodic "Take Me Home", which they then quickly follow up with "No Feelings", another heavy burst of music which employs the most addictive thrash guitar riff since Ministry did "Stigmata".

Gabi Hun's Voice is Just Another Instrument

Unlike many other punk bands, but quite similar to the Swingin' Utters, this album uses Gabi Hun's voice as just another instrument. It's husky and vicious, and not at all melodic. If they had wanted to, they could have produced the album with his vocals on top of everything, staring you in the face with its gravelly snarl.

They didn't do that; rather than slap you in the face with Hun's voice, they mixed it in as another instrument. This way, the guitars carry the songs forward, and Hun's voice is along for the ride.

It's a bold move. It's a move that doesn't really lend itself to creating songs that you can sing along with, but it really does work out. The resulting album sounds fuller, and better produced. You might not be overly inclined to sing along with this album, but you will be inclined to listen to it over and over.

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