Not many can turn their noses up at some dirty explosive and honest rock sounds, something you get with relish from US rockers Love Stricken Demise. Their debut EP Psychotrip is a wonderful insatiable bruise of rock n roll, colourful and insistent. Consisting of four songs which ignite an overspill of adrenaline, the release leaves one fully gratified and eager for more.
The background to the Texan quartet is as full and multi hued as their sounds. The band was started in 2011 by guitarist and vocalist Billy Blair, a musician who from fronting shock rock band Surgeon General in the early years of this century with whom he shared stages with bands such as KISS, Poison, Sammy Hagar, David Lee Roth and Cinderella, played bass for Earshot in 2008. The years in between also saw him in the likes of Mother Truckin Skull Diggers, White Collar Ghetto, and Messer. Over the past decade he ventured into acting appearing in films Mongolian Death Worm, Jonah Hex and Machete. With the intent to form a new band Blair turned to a drummer he worked with in the past in Rico (Mother Truckin Skull Diggers, White Collar Ghetto, Spearing Britney, EKG, Mind Gallery and KRADL).
Next the pair brought in vocalist Nikki McKibbin, a singer they had worked with previously. Her musical career saw her fronting groups like Downside, Rivithead and Mother Truckin Skulldiggers and most recently Wicked Attraction as well as releasing solo material, but a fame of a sorts came her way on the first season of American Idol and subsequent appearances on Fear Factor, Celebrity Rehab and Sober House,
The band was completed with the addition of bassist Holly Wood, a lady who apart from playing guitar for the past decade, switching to bass for Love Stricken Demise, is a master of ceremonies and hair stylist who not only preens the locks of Blair but has managed the hair of the Bush family. Arguably a larger than life canvas behind the band but no one should think of dismissing the quality and sincerity of their sounds.
Produced by Sterling Winfield the EP shows the strength and high level of the music immediately with the excellent title track. It is a song as infectious and hungry as a flea on a dog. Feisty riffs first stand tall barracking the ear before making room for the sharp melodic hooks of Blair. The rhythms of Rico are commanding and jab with an aggressive control to frame the song but it is the bass of Wood which ignites most adoration. Her sounds stalk and pace the track with a deep throaty growl like a wolf just waiting to pounce, her heavy presence making the perfect balance to the heated strokes and play on Blair. Once the vocals of McKibbin fire up the atmosphere everything is in place for the aural party, her delivery and voice impressively strong and varied, offering a snarl to the words and contempt to the heart of the track.
Celebrity High follows to keep the great start going. A track about and borne from the battle McKibbin herself had with drugs, alcohol and her subsequent recovery, the song is straight from the heart, its passion and emotion pouring through. The personal intensity makes for a potent and inciteful piece of muscular punk/hard rock and takes the song deep into thought and feelings.
This Life stirs and winds its way to attention with firstly sparking melodic guitar play and then a following addictive groove which wraps itself around an even deeper ravenous growl from Wood and sharper destructive power from Rico. The track is a tempered crawl though there is no restraint to its aggression and directness. A track born to soundtrack the most seductive pole dance possible, well certainly the music, the song is a teasing weave of contagion which lingers long after it burns its last flaming chord.
The release is completed by the stomping combative Love And Hate, the song storming across the senses with a barbed intent as it unleashes its passions and fiery breath. The track also powerfully shows a further expanse to the sound and creativity of the band. Love Stricken Demise here and throughout the EP, reminds of Boston punk metal band Mongrel, the voice of McKibbin very similar to that of Jessica Sierra which is wholly a good thing. Left on a real high by the track, the only moan is it is all over so soon immediately instigating an impatience for much more, and soon.
The Psychotrip EP is the best kind of rock n roll and Love Stricken Demise just what rock music needs, something on the cusp of being dangerous, fully inspiring, and brought with open honesty.
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