Release Date: October 2, 2015
So what do you get when you take two (three if you count guitarist Greg Tribett’s time in Hellyeah) solid, but mediocre, bands’ members and put them all together in a new band? Common sense would dictate you’d get something wildly mediocre. Fortunately for the masses, common sense does not always dictate the game because Natural Causes is a surprisingly great album from start to finish.
I love anthems. For me, they are the heartbeat of what Rock and Roll is truly about and they are in abundant supply here. “LYLAB” is definitely a standout in this regard. It’s got a bit of a angsty Filter vibe in the verses but when the choruses roll around the vocals just lay waste to it everything. Former Skrape vocalist Billy Keeton really takes the music to another level with his emotional but aggressive screams coupled with the moodiness in his voice during the verses. He was certainly holding out on us in Skrape.
“Swim” is another excellent moment. It’s got a brutal groove laying out underneath an atmospheric melody. It’s an interesting tune because the band always keeps the groove going but the melody, in many ways, is anti-the groove. Of course, the opening track (and single), “Headshot” is a fist pumper as well. It’s got a great hard rock vibe that reminds me of everything that was good about late nineties/early 2000’s rock radio. Big, thick guitars, screamy but understandable vocals, and catchy hooks make it a great way to kick off the album.
Natural Causes is a wall-to-wall anthem rocker. Everything here is spit-shined and well-written and makes you want to raise your fist and exorcise a new demon every four or so minutes. The world could do with more of this.
Reviewed by Mark 1340