Something Old & Something New
Quickly, my background…..aging rock and metal fan with a pretty deep knowledge of the 80’s era…..no radio for me in the 90’s and 2000’s, I relied on my tape and CD collection; had kids and went out of the loop for awhile…..now I’m absolutely stoked about the number of great bands out there busting their butts on the club circuit. I hope to do a segment (perhaps weekly) on a band from my past, highlighting a bit of information about the band and a sample of their music as well as a spotlight on some of the great new bands that rock fans need to absolutely check out!
The Four Horseman grabbed me the first time I heard them. The opening riffs of “Nobody Said it was Easy” instantly harkened back to the bluesy groove rock of the 70’s and set them apart from the pack as a band to be reckoned with. The stories of vocalist Frank C. Starr were only rivaled by his rock star delivery. The core band for the debut full-length album, Dave Lizmi, Haggis (Zodiac Mindwarp and The Cult), Ben Pape and Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery delivered a masterpiece of an album in 1991. Tragedy followed. Montgomery was lost to a drug overdose and other members moved on. Misfortune again followed as Starr passed from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in 1995. Prior to his death, Starr and Lizmi had completed a new album and this album, “Gettin’ Pretty Good at Barely Getting By”, was another slab of southern-tinged rock n roll goodness that was released in 1996. (Side note: I guess I did buy some albums in the 90’s).
Highlights for me were the title tracks as well as Rockin is Ma’ Business, Tired Wings, Moonshine and Wanted Man from “Nobody” and Drunk Again and the stellar Back in Business Again from “Gettin’.” If you love your rock dirty and dingy, check out The Four Horseman, a band definitely lost in the 90’s downswing and a true rock tragedy.
Fast forward 20 years, a resurgence in hard rock bands, especially on the east coast, has me very excited for the future of rock. Atlanta’s Gunpowder Gray is a prime example, as they have crafted a rock album that settles into the dirtiest of sleaze and hard rock…..a killer collection of throwback riffs, punk attitude, scorching leads and soaring vocals.
The self titled EP was released in the first half of 2014 and definitely showcases a talented group of musicians. Nate Godbee (vocals), Chris Wolfgang Heffernan (guitar/vocals), Adam Besserer (lead guitar), Sam Vaughan (bass) and Joey O’Brien (drums) have quite an eclectic background in music as each hails from various other Atlanta area bands. The results are a very exciting release that continues the surge of musicians paying homage to the past while carving out their own identity.
Personal favorites Cut Me Out, Gunpowder Gray and Saints will be right at home in the seediest of clubs. The video for the song “Saints” by Video Rahim is also an instant classic, although NSFW. Fans will quickly understand the premise as it expertly unfolds into classic horror. Definitely a band to check out! You can find the debut HERE.
I welcome any comments, information or thoughts that you may have, as I intend my articles to be a jumping off point to discuss great new music and the classics that some may have missed. If we talk about these bands, share the tales, pick up some merch, buy a CD or get out to the clubs, we can make a difference.
Featured image courtesy of: Janeé Carroll