Friday, February 15, 2008
What Doesn't Kill You...
Review by Nightwatcher
Arguably the first heavy metal band ever, releasing the classic 'Vincebus Eruptum' back in early 1968, scaring the shit out of mellow hippies at the time and scoring a #14 hit with a grungy molten cover of "Summertime Blues", Blue Cheer are back in a big way with a brand new studio release 'What Doesn't Kill You...'. Amazingly 40 years from when they started, consisting of 2/3 of the original lineup, while most of their contemporaries have either retired, died or long since ceased to play rock, the power trio are unrepentently heavy and even more important still damn good.
Fronted still by bassist/vocalist Dickie Peterson, and also featuring original drummer Paul Whaley and long time cohort of 20 plus years guitar wizard Andrew "Duck" McDonald, the Cheer still put out a unmuffled ROAR which would be the envy of bands a third of their age. Bursting out with the ode to dope smoking "Rollin' Dem Bones" it's quite clear that 15 years since their last studio release hasn't dulled their edge. Still plying the heavy, psychedelic-like blues thunder made popular eons ago by Hendrix, this is a band who has stayed true to their roots, influencing countless metal bands from Black Sabbath on down, and if it weren't for the near disintegration of the band in the early 70's, it's most likely they would be in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame today. As it is, the fact that they're not, and mindless pop dreck such as Madonna is reveals just another affirmation of what a joke it really is.
All throughout, the band bulldozes through 9 other tracks of bluesy metal, ranging from slower, heavy sludge such as "No Relief" and only the second ballad of their long running career "Young Lions In Paradise" to a blazing cover of Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign". The latter featuring a rare vocal turn from guitarist McDonald, lending, like the ballad a bit of variety to break up the unrelenting heaviness of the surrounding songs.
Still vital after all this time, this is much more than just another cash grab. Amazingly solid, 'What Doesn't Kill You' is sure to appeal to both long time fans and younger lions who may have heard of the band but have never had the opportunity to hear the band before. As good as this is, it makes one long to hear them in all their loudness played live. Pick this one up, but also be sure to check the band out on their current tour, where they're sure to rattle the fillings out of your teeth, and possibly make your ears bleed with the sonic onslaught emanating from the sure to be cranked to the max amps.