Review: Quickstrike – None of A Kind
Rockshots Records (February 11th
Reviewer: Jason Hopper
Sleaze metal, when done right, is a fun sub-genre that has both an aggressive and party vibe that makes you want to curse out your boss to his/her face and then follow that up with a chug of a beer before throwing it against the office wall on your way out the door. Bands like L.A. Guns, Sleeze Beez, and newer bands like Crashdiet and Hardcore Superstar have mastered the art form, creating memorable riffs and sign-along choruses that speak to fans of the genre. Then there are other bands that have all of the same elements but just don’t have the chops or melodies to effectively pull it all together. Slik Toxik, Dangerous Toys, Jetboy, and even Faster Pussycat come to mind. Outside of a few tracks, those bands never did much for me. Now I can add Latvian rockers Quickstrike to that undistinguished list.
There are several aspects of the band that don’t work for me. I’m not crazy about the vocal stylings of vocalist Piggy (yep, that’s the stage name he chose). His vocal stylings are more in line with that of a punk rock band, screaming out the lyrics rather than singing. Tracks like ‘Saint’ and ‘Rebel Radio’ are ruined with this type of approach. He does take a different approach to opening track ‘Real Rock Disaster’ and the title track, making those songs slightly more enjoyable.
Lyrically the band falls into traps that make you tire of the song quickly. ‘Son of a Gun’ makes the mistake of repeating the line, “Who The Hell Are You?” four times in each of the three verses. It’s just lazy. ‘Nice Hair, Bad Habits’ has some semi-rap verses in the middle of a fast-paced but basic three chord punk rocker. The combination is awkward and ineffective.
The biggest issue is the song structure and lack of quality riffs. I had to listen to ‘Saint’ twice because the first time I listened I was not sure it had a chorus. There’s no build-up to it. It just pops up and uneventfully disappears just as quick. ‘Thorn’ is another track that suffers from the same issue, a chorus that quickly comes and goes.
The album does have one saving grace, the track ‘Pergament’. It has a dark, moody groove very reminiscent of something Babylon A.D. would create. The heavy, tuned down chords provided by guitarist Ritchskies meshes well with the vocal range of Piggy and the band would do well to creatively strive towards this direction in future creations.
I’m sure fans that love all types of sleaze metal will appreciate more tracks from this release than I did. For me, the sub-par writing, nearly non-existant choruses, and vocal stylings did not work. Aggression and speed are not enough to get recognition these days. If they hope to make an impact, they need to write better, more memorable songs.