Struck By Lightning
You know how all the women on Spanish TV variety shows have the same boob job? I think there’s a clinic somewhere that fixes heavy metal vocalist’s larynxes the same way. There’s an amazing uniformity among speed metal lead vocalists — they all sport a ripped-throat hoarseness that used to take years of cigarettes and vodka and touring to acquire. Greg Lahm from Stuck By Lightning has it down perfectly, and this band can rock with the best of them. That’s faint praise; this band sounds suspiciously similar to other groups in the stack of metal CDs that had turned up on my door step — American Speedway, Javalina, and a few more — in that they all carry the same basic sound to what may be its logical conclusion. Travis Kline’s drumming keeps the pace through all eleven cuts, Mr. Lahm’s vocals never fail, and the guitar and bass work by Mike Leach and John Peters follows closely, mopping up any remaining unperforated ear drums. It’s intense, but even with a quiet rest with “Collection of Teeth,” this album is unremarkable. Accompanying the disc is an amazingly difficult to read set of lyrics: the band chose a muted brown print on a black background. If you want to follow the lyrics (and who wouldn’t want to sing along as they tool down the heavy metal highway?), you’ll need good lighting and good eyes. Either that, or scan the liner notes and try to pull up the contrast with a good image processing program. It’s loud, hard, and nasty, but the songs are screamed with the sort of technical care that shows how much the band loves you.
Struck By Lightning: www.myspace.com/struckbyfuckinglightning