A stormy mix of stoner, classic rock, and hardcore punk, Managed By The Devil, Brought To You By The Grace Of God the debut album from US stirrers C.F.A. is a more than decent riot to bruise and treat the senses to. It is an album which at times feels like it is unleashing something quite unique and in other moments is treading a well worn yet persistently pleasing path. Overall though it is a formidable slab of sixteen feisty and ultimately satisfying tracks.
C.F.A. (Cody Foster Army) consists of three musicians who combined their talents in 2008, a trio with plenty of experience in their wake. Creating a sound which has been tagged as stoner-core, the threesome of bass guitarist/vocalist Cody Foster (A.K.F., Toxic Shock, Miserable Bastards, Stump, Ash Bib, Poppa Wheelie), lead and rhythm guitarist/vocalist David Takata (Raw Meat , Inbreed, Daisy Love, Bonzort, Swelter, Argonaut, Goldteeth), and drummer David “Reno” Marseillan (Tribe, Nadir, Holokron, Crash Landing, Buckwildz, Mico De Noche, have not looked back in gaining an enthused reaction and following to their combative and abrasive sound. 2009 saw the band record their first album with engineer/producer Tony Reed of Mos Generator and Stone Axe, with its release coming now via Ripple Records and one imagines certain to draw strong acclaim and responses its way.
The album is a storm of crucial and irresistible riffs from guitar and bass, starting with the infectious Never Free. The track is a magnetic weave which scours the ear through slamming rhythms, scraping vocals, and the gnarly bass tones of Foster whilst offering a melodic swagger which simply oozes contentment. It is a lure not to be denied, an opening temptation which leaves one enthused for what is to come.
Though the following burly Third Side and the crawling Chorus do not make the same heights they both stir up the emotions enough to leave one more than satisfied. In some ways the album is one of two halves with its later presence bringing a more impressive and appetizing collection of confrontations for personal tastes. This is not to say the earlier songs are lacking as Never Free and especially the excellent Shake Your Ass show, the latter a track which feeds on adrenaline and mischief whilst thrusting fiery melodic guitar strikes and pulse racing rhythms through the ear with teasing wantonness before passing onto the flaming stoner punk jab fest Lost Wisdom. This is another song to light the imagination with eagerness without leaving one particularly drooling in lust.
Songs such as the Bob Marley cover Iron Lion Zion, Sons of the Soil, and Kick Rocks deliver an easily agreeable energy driven rampancy but it is with the entrance of Shut Up Your Face that things suddenly find another incendiary level to light the passions. The song is high octane punk rampage which opens with a ska tinged smile before exploding into an air sizzling furnace of riffs and attitude. The bass of Foster funds an even more venomous growl to the song whilst the guitar of Takata moves from delivering insatiable riffs to being a malicious weapon which sizes up its victim before unleashing scythes of sonic venom.
Next up Built Up Knocked Down is a deliciously twisted brew of stoner and garage punk to fire up the heart whilst Red Wine Ride is a contagious rub of salty melodics and barging riffs driven by the fiery vocals. Another cover in the form of Creedence Clear Water track Fortunate Son is a decent enough song but pales against its predecessors and the following final two songs Magic Salad and Inhabit, both outstanding examples of hardcore punk for the first and stoner/sludge antagonism for the latter.
They impressively complete in Managed By The Devil, Brought To You By The Grace Of God an album which continually ticks all the right boxes even if it arguably does not hold the consistency to make it a classic.
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright