First Reaction: Godsmack – "1000hp"
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 09:52:19
Now, there are two options for rock fans in 2014.
You can cry like a bitch and pine over the lack of real "rock 'n' roll". Or, you can dig beneath the surface just a little bit (not that far mind you) and realize that there's some truly pummeling, passionate, and powerful hard rock being produced by relevant modern acts. Godsmack still lead the pack as well even 16 years on from their seminal self-titled debut.
Not everything has to have an indie veneer in this day and age. Rock music requires distortion, bombast, and balls. That's what makes it last. That said, Godsmack's sixth full-length album, 1000hp [out August 5 via Republic Records] isn't just a high watermark for the Boston group, it's also the best hard rock record of the year.
Starting off with the engine in high gear on the title track, the boys break out of the gate with an anthemic bruiser that instantly slams. Frontman Sully Erna lyrically recalls the group's upbringing over a speed demon riff reminiscent of White Zombie's best work and a deft punk thrash assault courtesy of drum extraordinaire Shannon Larkin. Axe slinger Tony Rombola rips out leads like his life depends on it, practically burning through the fretboard as bassist Robbie Merrill's low end wallops.
Switching it up, "FML" starts on a clean note, infusing an orchestral melody into the fray before exploding on another riff. The song seesaws on its groove, smashing succinctly as Erna screams, "You make me wanna kill you" and "So fuck my life". An elegant departure, "Something Different" begins with the singer delivering one of his most soulful performances yet over a clean guitar as everything blossoms into a bludgeoning yet strangely beautiful refrain punctuated by an airy and eerie coda.
The downright epic "Generation Day" veers off into Pink Floyd territory with an ethereal break that's equally haunting and hypnotic. Fueled by Larkin's tribal stomp, it's a potent burner that passes the six-minute mark. "Locked & Loaded" unloads a barrage of vitriol via a guillotine-sharp riff and even bigger chorus. Erna nods to his classic cadence on a verse break announcing, "It fucking tires me" and then screaming, "All you do is talk shit like a bitch" and "I wish you'd step up in my face". It's the ultimate sonic bitch slap...
In a career rife with huge hooks, "I Don't Belong" boasts one of the band's biggest to date, remaining indisputably catchy throughout. Also, following the tradition of "Voodoo", "Spiral", and "One Rainy Day", "Turning to Stone" segues through a psychedelic haze, emerging on the other side with another artfully entrancing metallic mosaic. At the same time, "Life Is Good" is meant to be a larger-than-life bar room tune befitting of Boston. It also has huge crossover potential and could be very easily heard at sporting events for a long time to come.
Ultimately, 1000hp is the speed of hard rock in 2014, and Godsmack cruise right to the top again with another classic.
Download "1000hp" on iTunes!
What's your favorite Godsmack song? Will you be getting 1000hp on August 5?
See our review of "1000hp" here!
See our feature on Godsmack here!