That band with the nearly unprintable name is back (actually
has been for awhile, as I rescued this from the also-ran bin at
the HMHO (Hybrid Magazine Home Office)). I reviewed an Alabama
Thunderpussy album for Hybrid once before, and so I feel,
if not obliged, at least qualified to review them again.
The biggest change for ATP since Staring at the Divine,
is the replacement of lead vocalist Johnny Throckmorton
with Johnny Weills. I say this is definitely in the band's
best interest as Throckmorton could only ever really elicit a
"meh" from me anyway. His nu-metal sound was a huge
turn-off for me, in much the same way that I have completely turned
the radio off.
The first track starts off as a metal-epic-instrumental that
could be considered an homage by some, a paraphrase to others,
and damn near a rip-off by a cantankerous few, of Metallica's
"To Live is to Die." The rest seems to alternate between
what I call Cookie-Monster-Metal and good ol' Southern Rock. Fulton
Hill isn't as unfocused as SATD was, since the band's
sound seems to be cemented in two different styles now. I expect
though, that one style will eventually win out, and based on what
I've heard, I officially cast my ballot in favor of Southern Rock.
Johnny Weills seems to sing in 3 distinct styles: Bruce Dickinson
(and I mean dead-on), Cookie Monster, and what might just
be his own, natural singing voice. It sounds really strange hearing
one of the pre-eminent NWOBHM voices (Iron Maiden's Dickinson)
overlaid on Southern-fried metal, and Cookie Monster has always
been and always will be silly. (I giggled at Cannibal Corpse
and Deicide.) When Weills sings on ATP's southern rock
tunes, he is fan-fucking-tastic. And so is the rest of the band.
Their metal tunes are decent, but nothing terribly remarkable.
I wouldn't think that a Richmond, Virginia band could channel
the zeitgeist of the deep south, but hell, if John Fogerty
could do it all the way from Oakland
It sounds as though their Inner Skynyrd is calling to
them, and they've found a direct tap into that vein. Their southern-fried
rock does more than simply remind me of that great rock era of
the '70s, it practically transports me back in time; and all without
making me think they're merely rehashing the work of the masters.
I can't really say the same about their straight-out metal, though.
It's not bad, but it feels like it is too cobbled together from
too many different styles, and not the distilled, homogeneous
sound it should be. Regardless, their true muse has revealed itself
to them, I just hope they grab a hold and hang on for the ride.
1. Such Is Life
3. Wage Slave
4. Three Stars
5. Bear Baiting
7. Alone Again
8. Lunar Eclipse
10. Do Not
11. Sociopath Shitlist
12. Struggling For Balance
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