Review: The 450s – The 450s
Louder Than Loud Records (November 19th 2021)
Reviewer: Chris O’Connor
Cards on the table time, I am a HUGE fan of The Rods, so as soon as I knew drummer Carl Canedy was involved with this unruly mob, I begged Da Ed to be allowed to review this. Now, The 450s are nothing like The Rods, they are though, a hard as nails f*** off bunch of like-minded misfits in their own right, whose collective vision has resulted in this gloriously ragged debut, that hits with the force of a charging rhino (or similar … but you get the gist!).
The band: Rhett (vocals), James Jacobs (guitar), Robert Jacobs (bass), Ryan Sambrook (keyboards), and the aforementioned Mr Canedy (drums), immediately came to the attention of legendary producer Jack Douglas (Cheap Trick, Patti Smith, Aerosmith, John Lennon, Alice Copper, Supertramp, Clutch … and so many others), who became involved as he wanted to mix the album, as did Chris Collier (Whitesnake, Prong, Lita Ford, Korn etc), who also helped produce and mix this outing – needless to say, the end result sounds fantastic!
What do The 450s actually sound like? That’s a hard one to answer. I can hear hints of everything from Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Corrosion Of Conformity, through to Blue Oyster Cult, Humble Pie, and (strangely enough) The Cure! It’s a genuinely organic sounding album, very roots-y and natural, it sounds as if it was recorded entirely through analogue recording gear – which I’m pretty sure was the intent anyway.
Vocalist Brett is a genuine star, his voice twisting and turning from song to song, sometimes cold and cruel, sometimes haunted and frightened, sometimes raging and defiant – it’s almost as if he ‘putting on and off masks’ – almost creating different ‘characters’ to suit each number – it will be interesting to see how this translates in the live environment.
By their own admission, lyrically the band are unafraid to delve into the heart of darkness, which is amply proven by the single ‘Flowers For Columbine’ – and you don’t need to be a MENSA candidate to understand what the song is all about. Songs like ‘Lust And Denial’ and the scorching ‘When God Won’t Forgive You’ are equally uncompromising, the band hitting home with powerful lyrics time after time.
The 450s are not a band you can easily pigeonhole – which is a pretty are thing I think a chunk of that uniqueness is down to Ryan Sambrook’s keyboards, which elevate the band above the pure guitar driven norm, he adds layers of light and shade that otherwise would have rendered the sound less powerful. The brothers Jacob (yes they are blood brothers) can be justifiably proud of their new band, as The 450s really do have something special going on! Now how about some UK dates alongside The Rods please?