Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Rock is a Good, Good Thing

February 12, 2009

There are bands out there with a hint of retro in their sound, and there are tribute bands that try to copy another era’s groups. Somewhere in between is Underride. They’ve got a sound that is firmly based in ’80s metal, but also incorporates flirtation with glam rock of the same decade and occasional touches of ’90s grunge. It’s impossible to listen to their music without drawing similarities to the likes of Aerosmith or Guns-n-Roses.

The album opens with “Side By Side,” an energetic, driving number that lies on the harder side of their music. It quickly highlights the vocal strengths of the band with a roaring chorus from frontman Rev and smooth backups from the rest of the group. A wicked guitar solo seals the deal for this track.

Further into the album, the song “My Little Hell” stands out. Lyrics like “lower your body down/below the surface ground” and other dark references give it great character without devolving into death metal. “Riot Stick” was my favorite from the album. It’s that raucous, no-holds-barred kind of song that gets you out of your seat and rocking away with the music. Getting the listener involved is a great test for music, and Underride passed with flying colors.

One Of Us by Underride is rock, pure and simple. I had a blast listening to this album on a recent road trip. It isn’t what typically goes on my iPod, but change is a good thing, right? Is their particular brand of rock your cup of tea? Check them out and see for yourself.

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Stephen Carradini and friends write reviews of bands that are trying to make the next step in their careers.

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