STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 177067-29387 LABEL: Roxx FORMAT: CD Album
Reviewed by Ian Webber
You might expect a band which takes their name from the specifications of a sledge hammer to be exponents of wall-of-noise brutality. But this Los Angeles-based team offer on their debut an intriguing blend of groove, funk and metal, one moment sounding a bit like P.O.D. and then a flipping to an approach that is incredibly reminiscent of Family Force Five. The phat bass sounds drive the tracks with real energy and create a distinctive party atmosphere that combines so many elements. The opener, "Ticket Out Of Hades" perfectly sets up what is to follow - a hooky groove that is full of tripping breakdowns and an almost rapcore vocal delivery making its first appearance. Add to this the grungy guitars of "Color Guard" that chug and are full of layers and you are starting to get a feel for the style of 20 lb Sledge. One should not become comfortable, however, as Rage Against The Machine-style phrases appear in "Source Of Release" along with some layered vocals that lend complexity to the recording. Lyrics throughout the tracks are open and honest statements of faith that come across with integrity and in a way that will not alienate the casual listener. The only weakness I could point to is a lack of clarity on the sound quality which at times is not as bright and crisp as it could be. However, the many facets and experimental phrases mean that any lack is compensated for by sonic complexity and detail. If you enjoy the likes of Living Colour or the heavy groove of King's X you will certainly not be disappointed by 20 lb Sledge.
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