21st Century Goliath, Back With A Vengeance
Aw yeah y’all, I received a digital copy of 21st Century Goliath’s new record “Back With A Vengeance” while at a bike run way out in the Mojave Desert. Somehow my service was good enough to download it to my phone, I was anxious to hear it as I absolutely loved their first record “Radio Destroyer”.
DISCLAIMER: Riding a chopper while under the influence of stimulants and with headphones on is not recommended but I’m a professional.
Goddamn, the opening of “Welcome To The Dark Side” had me revving to the redline. I was singing along by the 2nd chorus. Let me point out that for an indie release, the production values are high. Many records suffer from lackluster production but 21CG obviously spent the bucks and hired a real pro to do the album. I was informed that the album was produced, mixed and mastered by Jamie King [Between the Buried and Me, He Is Legend]. Associate Producers are Scott Roby and Drew Cyphers. They did a killer job fine tuning these songs.
As the first track fades into the opening salvo of “Brace Yourself For Hell” you are treated to an orgasm of double bass and 70’s style riffage. I admit that the vocals of 21CG may be a bit modern for my tastes. Imagine Mike Ness fronting a kick-ass hard rock band. I can dig it though…I dig it a lot.
“Dirty Little Secrets” reminds me a whole lot of AC/DC. There just ain’t enough bands around these days that play music like this. The solo SMOKES!!! Hell fucking Yeah!
The single “Cold Hearted Woman” really shows, as you listen, that they spent some extra time writing & arranging for this particular track. The twin-harmony guitar lead, background harmonies and emphasis on the lyrics really drive the point home that this song was made for cranking on your favorite local radio station!!!
Start throwing the F.U.’s and rotten tomatoes at me cuz I’m about to tell you the one low point of the album is title track. I ain’t saying it sucks, I ain’t saying I’d rather listen to cats fuck, I’m just saying that compared to the rest of the stellar tracks on the album this one just kinda falls flat. It has a redeeming quality when it gets to the double time part towards the end but for the most part its just a half-time waltz waiting for the next masterpiece….which is “You Crossed The Line” The song harkens back to the drinkin, fightin n fuckin tracks of yesteryear. Riffs, Choruses and a Bridge that just SLAYS!!!!! Added bonus is a sultry voice-over from a sexy siren begging for more of what you provide…hell yeah!
“Got My Number” & “Detroit ’76” chug along with more of the fire-breathing riffage you’ve now come to expect from these dudes. Killer Harmonica provided by Willie Shane Johnston is a highlight on the “Detroit ’76” track.
Getting towards the end of this masterpiece you hear some more kick-ass tunes “So Much To Learn” & “Children Of Fire” Most bands use the B-Side to load the filler into but 21CG just seems to not have any of that. Every song just flat out ROCKS!
So, towards the end of my journey I start coming down the mountain into the LA Valley and the last song “No Gold” cues up…as vocalist Tony Leone sings “When I was younger…I was told to chase dreams” I thought to myself, yeah man, that’s what we’re all doing. The lyrics for this record can form a connection with everyone. The album ends on a high note, fading out with “End Of The Rainbow”.
There ain’t many records made today by rock bands that can get into high rotation with me. “BACK WITH A VENGEANCE” by 21CG will definitely be spinning with me for a long time. I just can’t get enough of this album. I’ve listened to it at least a dozen times before writing this review and am now listening to it again. It sure ain’t getting old anytime soon. 21CG ain’t lying when they say they are BACK WITH A VENGEANCE!!!!!!!!!
Tony Leone, Scott Roby, Kip Wilson, Kenny Keeler & Adam Ellis may be from the Confederacy but these dudes would fit right in over here in the LA scene. So…..when the hell is 21CG touring? I wanna know and so do the rest of us!!! Now, y’all do yourselves a favor and buy this album goddammit.