From the heavy metal of an Apache Helicopter to Heavy Metal tracks is the path of former Army Pilot, Tom Potter. He, along with Scott Siegel (vocals), Crazy Tomes (bass/vocals) and Alex Rivas (drums) make up the heavy-hitting Rockers, Gundriver. But what’s interesting is that Potter is also a student of the craft studying Audio Engineering at L.A.’s Musician’s Institute. Now, the quartet is prepping to release their 11-track debut LP, appropriately named Gundriver No. 1. With heavy leanings on the electric guitar and vocal tandem, the high-energy tracks evoke the nostalgic days when the hair was big; the makeup was abundant and Rock was the way of the walk.
The Rock leanings are immediately apparent on “Against The Darkness” with staunch opening guitar work and Siegel’s gruff, but upper tenor vocal delivery. Dour electric solo work makes an appearance at the midpoint again illustrating the cohesion limelight sharing of vocals and lead a la Lee Roth/Van Halen or Ozzy/Randy. Title track “Gundriver” follows in much the same vein with chug guitar, riff work and fills intermittently appearing alongside the vocals into midpoint solo to outro. “Never” breaks the structure with its organ-laced, melody electric, ballad vibe. Siegel’s usually gruff vocal delivery is replaced with a polished, Bluesy swagger. Midpoint is vibraphone-style keys and electric solo with the effects toned down. It’s a proper transition from the opening two tracks. “Rein” opens to urgent electric riff work before the staccato rhythm section helps the track build from the background through to the chromatic note work that ushers the in the verses. This one progresses rather than blast forth from the opening notes. The Rawk electric returns on “Rip It” and continues through full blast in what is an up-tempo vocally driven powder keg of a track.
Musically the group is tight and their sound is solidified to the throwback Rock days of yore. And they are good at it. But the sound on the collection of tracks I got is simply missing something. There is a diggable amateurishness about it and fans of the genre will certainly hear familiar facets of their favorite Heavy Metal bands. But there is a final polish missing on the recording aspect of the album as it stands and it needs it.
Christopher West – email@example.com
I give this 2.5/5 Skopes.