“When the Black Flower blooms, I’ll be in the back of my room with the headphones crankin’…” That’s the best LAMF line I’ve heard so far this year. How Roadsaw came up with that one, off “Black Flower,” has to be a great story. Man, that’s just so, so, American youth heaviness. Whatever that means, but “Black Flower,” a) has for me a “Conan” reference that I might be imagining, but I think it’s there, and b) is at the heart of everyone who wants nothing more than to get away from people and blast friggin’ Black Sabbath on their stereos.

In the last couple of years, while there are a lot of the new hybrid rap/hardcore/metal bands I like, I’ve been getting into bands that try to play as heavy a blues as possible without sacrificing melody for “brutality” or who try to avoid the vocal harmonies that might sound like 1970’s retro metal (e.g., any number of KISS clones). I guess what I’m getting into is bands that sound like an intensely heavy Aerosmith. Or, to go one step further, bands that steal from the Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).”

Roadsaw’s heavy blues and “old time” metal, for me, packages what bands like Alice in Chains just could not do: keep a good melodic groove going and stay heavy all the time. “Overspill” has these great choruses and leads that are, man, put the headphones on and crank it! “Van-O-Rama” grooves like a long-hair band is supposed to groove. And they do not forget the psychedelic roots of metal, to which “Motorcaster” gives tribute. I’m impressed, rock on, Roadsaw!

MIA Records, P.O. Box 1236, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013

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