Unsigned / Self-released
Words: Craig Hartranft
Where do they come up with those band names? Stereo Nasty? Doesn't even sound right. So this guy, wearing his sleeveless denim jacket, walks into his favorite hi-fi shop (remember those?), hears some heavy metal tunes jamming out, sees the equipment, and says, "Dude. That stereo is nasty!" Or something like that. Stereo Nasty invites you to dig their debut album, Nasty By Nature.
Okay. Stereo Nasty rock out of Ireland, pretty much a country that has a solid history in hard rock and heavy metal. But these four larger than leprechauns bust some jams like it's 1983, maybe even a few years back. Yup. This is old school heavy metal drawing from the vein of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Yet, I might add, there seems a bit of a modern twinge to their sound. The riffage can sound rather sharp and intense sometimes. Not quite like the harshness of some modern metal, but pretty forceful nevertheless. One thing that's missing is that famous twin guitar harmony common to the genre. Stereo Nasty guitarist Adrian Foley definitely works from melody, but the riffs are his foremost weapon of choice. Check out their presence and rhythm within Holy Terror. But also being a good classic heavy metal guitar soldier, he can also rip off an abundance of fiery solos. Mostly they come at the end and sometimes they're too brief. I'm hoping he gets more liberty to wail in the live setting.
Two additional things struck me as I listened to Nasty By Nature. First, the album starts out with three long songs. That's alright, I guess, but I'd rather be drawn in by something more compact and efficient, something which distills the sound of the band to it's singular essence. The other consequence, or danger, is that these songs, if not arranged well, can become laborious. Interstellar is that song. Big on riffs, but it plods along with little purpose to the end. The second thing is Mick Mahon vocals. Calling his sound "vocals" instead of singing is probably as favorable as I can make it. He has a real rough and raw delivery, nearly screamo at times as well. Mahon is definitely an acquired taste, and probably the single biggest reason why I probably won't listen to this album again any time soon. As Ozzy once said, "I like my vocals more melodic." Nevertheless, for some old school heavy metal made relevant for modern metal heads, Stereo Nasty is on the right path.
Even with the sharp and forceful riffs and the raw, sometimes screamo, vocals, for some old school heavy metal made relevant for modern metal heads, Stereo Nasty's on the right path.
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