It may be labelled as hard rock, but the roar of sound which escapes the craft and imagination of Chicago band A.D.D. is just as much metal and punk, and very often more so. It is a fiery and aggressive mix which makes the band’s second album Core, one of the most enjoyable slabs of voracious rock ‘n’ roll to be heard this year and most likely moving forward. It is a release which does not dramatically startle yet leaves ears and emotions seriously gripped and hungry. It is not an obvious classic encounter either yet can stand toe to toe with those which might be offered such label in creative tenacity and sheer pleasure. However you see and hear it though, Core is an encounter which does what all great rock albums do, leaves the listener breathless, adrenaline soaked, and highly excited.
Though still a young band A.D.D. (Analog Digital Disorder) are no strangers to attention and increasing acclaim. Their first album was been an eagerly devoured and purchased introduction on CD and download whilst live the quartet has only impressed and built a potent stature through shows with the likes of Korn, Chevelle, Halestorm, Sevendust, Alterbridge, and Buckcherry amongst many. Equally they have played and left events like Throttlefest, Summerfest, and WIIL Rockfest with success and praise soaking their wake. Now the band is ready to breach the broadest spotlights with Core, and such the impact on personal ears it is hard to see them losing any momentum in their ascent, indeed only accelerating it. Mixed by Tadpole (Disturbed, 3 Doors Down, Staind) and mastered by Grammy Award winner Trevor Sadler, the Pavement Entertainment released album hits the sweet spot straight away and never relinquishes its ultimate grip again.
I Regret sets things off in immense style, the track an instantly robust punch of rhythms and an aggressive snarl of riffs bound in spicy sonic tempting. There is grouchiness to its attitude, epitomised by the throaty growl of bass, and an instantly matching snarl to the voice and delivery of Matilda Moon (Margaret Young). Her vocals roar and soar with emotion and aggression across the song, simultaneously offering a warm and melodic vitriol which reminds of punk metallers Mongrel and their front lady Jessica Sierra, and indeed the song has a feel of their US compatriots but in openly individual ways. It is a mouth-watering opening to Core, melodies and harmonies as ripe and pungent as the more hostile elements of the outstanding encounter.
The following Not My Way comes with a more even tempered but no less compelling presence. Moon and guitar embrace ears initially with expressive restraint before the track erupts with predatory riffs and heavy jabbing beats in a furious and highly flavoursome weave of sound. Part confrontation but more magnetic croon, the song captivates and tantalises with evolving adventure. The guitars of Dave Adams and Jeremy Sparta alone absorb an eager appetite but aligned to the pungent rhythms and Moon’s increasingly impressive tones, it is a mouth-watering trap for the imagination and passions.
Hear Me Now steps up next with muscles openly flexing in every swiping beat from Jason Delismon as aggression wraps every snarled syllable from Moon. Though it has a fuller melodic rock canvas to its thick bellow, there is still that metallic intensity and punkish roar at large, the track all the better for it, and something missing from Was My Life next. It should be noted not everyone will feel the same about the song, but for personal tastes it is one of two times where the album goes astray. Led by the vocals of Sparta, who right away we emphasize has an impressive voice and embraces the soft/hard rock balladry of the song with skill and inventive colour, the track simply breaks the flow and charge of the album with its soft hearted endeavour. It is a potent showing of another side to the band’s sound and songwriting but feels out of place in the surge of the release. It is a personal thing though and as the saying sort of goes, “it’s not them it’s me”.
Attention and emotions are flying and rigorously enthused again with the voracious Damn Thing, a rhythmic trap of a song with bracing and soaring melodies aligned to matching harmonies. Crossing a volatile landscape of ideation and aggressive sound, the guitars and Moon simply enthral across the song’s lively length. Their passion and invention helps build an anthemic incitement which is imposing and rewarding from start to finish whilst the closing snarl of the song just sends shivers and tingles down the spine, a reaction swiftly soothed by the melodic charm and warm caress of So The Pain. Vocally and lyrically emotive, and soaked in an angst lit aural embrace, the track blossoms a provocative web which brings whispers of one of the band’s influences, Heart, as well as more classic rock imagination through the guitars. The fade-out is disappointing but the song a fascinating and exciting encounter showing even more of the depths to A.D.D.
Nightmare is next and also explores a broader and calmer weave of melodic rock but comes littered with dramatic and inventive twists from guitars and vocals around a carnivorous spine of bass and drums, whilst its successor Nothing Left, sees the band turning back to the more recognisable hard and classic rock recipe but with a fiery and thrilling intent to its melody rich power ballad canvas. It also has a tempestuous air and agitated nature in riffs and rhythms which makes for an unpredictable and highly enjoyable proposal.
So Much is seeded from that classic bed of inspiration also but this time as with Was My Life, lies like a cuckoo in the cradle of the album despite also being a skilfully and impressively sculpted proposition. As the earlier song, others will devour it with greed and rightfully so, but for our tastes it finds barren ground and a want to dive into album closer Black to keep the exhilarating growl and tempest of Core in top gear. The closing song is a beast of a track, from vocals to riffs and rhythms to sonic toxicity, a predator of ears and emotions unafraid to add tangy spicily coated melodies and harmonies to its seduction. As it started, Core goes out on a pinnacle, finishing off nothing but lofty peaks to be honest, despite a couple of aberrations in our likes.
A.D.D. is a band poised to leap into the big time, if not with Core certainly sometime ahead, and with seriously thrilling albums like this already fuelling their rise, it would be stupid for anyone to wait.
Core is available now via Pavement Entertainment on CD @ http://official-a-d-d-store.myshopify.com/collections/frontpage/products/a-d-d-core-cd and digitally on most online stores.
A.D.D. has upcoming live shows at…
Fri. Mar. 27th – Mojoes – Joliet, IL – HEADLINE CD Release show
Sat. Apr. 4th – Crazy Coyote – Burlington, IA
Sat. Apr. 11th – Freakster’s Roadhouse – HEADLINE – Pontiac, IL
Thu. April 16th – Nevin’s – HEADLINE – Plainfield, IL
Fri. Apr. 24th – On the Rox w/ Wayland – Jacksonville, IL
Thu. May 7th – Mojoes w/ Black Stone Cherry – Joliet, IL
Sun. May 10th – High Noon Saloon w/ Y&T – Madison, WI
Sat. June 5th – Metal Grill – Milwaukee, WI
Fri. July 17th – Rockfest – Cadott, WI
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright
Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/