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Gama Bomb - Speed Between The Lines review

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Band: Gama Bomb
Album: Speed Between The Lines
Release date: October 2018

01. Give Me Leather
02. A Hanging
03. 666teen
04. Bring Out The Monster
05. R.I.P. U
06. Motorgeist
07. Alt-Reich
08. Stay Rotten
09. We R Going 2 Eat U
10. Kurt Russell
11. World Gone To Hell
12. Faceblaster

I listen to thrash so I can hear songs about Kurt Russell. That's basically the whole point of the genre, as far as I'm concerned.

Gama Bomb is my favorite thrash band because they play thrash the way it was meant to be played: not as a dignified, conventional art form, as grounded in reality as any other genre of music, that can scrape the ceiling of transcendence in the form of Reign In Blood or Tempo Of The Damned or Pleasure To Kill (take a picture, because you'll never again see "Shroud Of Urine" derided for its rigid adherence to hallowed principles of high-concept artistry), but as a zombunctious fiction factory whose only purpose is to be loud, stupid, and awesome. The lyrics are 50% horror movie Mad Libs, 50% comic book-related puns, and 50% profanity directed at society's illest ills. The vocals are a mixture of madcap laughter, dazzling falsetto shrieks, and the names of famous actors from the 1980s shouted repeatedly. Philly Byrne entrenches himself so deeply into the rhythm that his battering beat-for-beat lyric-spattering has more in common with rap than with your typical snarling thrash frontman, with bassist Joe McGuigan serving as hype man with his growly repartee. All the while, we've got guitars laying down blistering solos like a hyperactive video game soundtrack and drums that pound away harder than Gordon Liu after he discovers who betrayed Shaolin Temple.

But if you've ever listened to Gama Bomb before, you already knew that music was invented just so a gang of Irish firebrands could shout the entire screenplay of RoboCop over and over in a fit of ribald revelry. What about Speed Between The Lines in particular?

I'm very pleased to report that Speed Between The Lines presents us with a revitalized Gama Bomb. Philly's throat injury and surgery in 2012 left a noticeable impact on his vocal performance on The Terror Tapes and Untouchable Glory; as if in concert, the band's songwriting took a dip, while the performances and production were not as insanely, atomically tight and polished as they were on Citizen Brain and Tales From The Grave In Space. The unfortunate result was that Gama Bomb sounded like they collectively had a cold.

Now Philly's vocals are back in top form, gleeful and unnecessarily well-articulated roller coasters of spewed-up toasts to pulp fiction, and he has plenty of little earworms to spread across each of these songs (see "Bring Out The Monster" for proof of wellness). The rest of the band thrives on his renewed charisma; "Give Me Leather" immediately alerts us to the new and improved Gama Bomb with levels of speed, energy, and instrumental precision that seemed to have dimmed over the last few years. The adrenaline never stops flowing: while the templates for their songs have never really evolved past the most basic thrash-flavored, thrash-inspired modern thrasher's thrash, every few seconds we hear another little six-string spin, electrifying drum fill, clever twist of words, or other burst of fun sonic garnish to keep the songs from becoming a collection of boring, po-faced misery. Those last two albums did, in fact, teach the band something about focusing more on creative bridges, layering vocals, and distancing the choruses from the rest of the song, so I think we are seeing at least a little bit of progression in style.

By now, you must be wondering what score I'm giving this album, because I haven't given it a standard regular-people-number-out-of-10. I award Speed Between The Lines a million Draculas fighting an electric super tomato cop on top of a speeding train out of a possible Big Trouble In Little China.

And if you don't like "Kurt Russell," you're scum (that's right).

Rating breakdown
Performance: 9
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Production: 8

Written on 24.09.2018 by I'm the reviewer, and that means my opinion is correct.


Comments: 3   Visited by: 117 users
24.09.2018 - 08:38

Fuck yeah this band slays. BRB I'm gonna blast this.
24.09.2018 - 10:14
Cynic Metalhead
Paisa Vich Nasha
Fabulous review.
26.09.2018 - 10:40
M C Vice
I second that final sentence.
"Another day, another Doug."
"I'll fight you on one condition. That you lower your nipples."
" 'Tis a lie! Thy backside is whole and ungobbled, thou ungrateful whelp!"

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