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Beltin Records
May 15, 2007

Oh hell yeah. Finally something worth bangin’ a head to. Kraised’s Tony Noyes, a.k.a. “Tones,” rages with a vocal fury that could’ve been the spawn of James Hetfield and the late Layne Staley, yet still has the lyrical balls to call out a certain metal prick by name: “Got no job got no money for iTunes / Stole them so far so how you like me, Lars?” So goes the scorching title song/opener to this crater-creating stomp of an album. Drummer Kelly Knight might be some kind of squid-man/minotaur, as not only does he hammer the skins with what sounds like a few extra stick-clenching fists, but there’s gotta be at least four feet at work there; no regular human pounds the double-bass so consistently.

The truly insane thing here is actually not the extent to which Kraised’s hard rock/metal slays, but that one of their two guitarists is ten-year-old AZ axe whiz Jack Ripper, the little man that shreds with the big boys. Sounds crazy, I know, but they are, after all, Kraised. Though they could ride the Ripper all the way to bank if they chose, to their credit, nowhere on Kraised’s album inlay or myspace page do they harp on the anomaly of their prodigal guitarist; Ripper’s just another dude in the band. There’s a diversity to the songs, such as on “No Way No How”, which cashes in the Tones’ Hetfield aspect in exchange for some Axel Rose influence and adds acoustic guitar to the stew, and “I Found You,” which combines influences as varied as Pantera, Rage Against the Machine and Alice in Chains. Kraised is Ozzfest-bound, for sure.     

Favorite Track:  “Mr. Know It All”

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Steve Gunn is a hard-boiled suburban New Yorker with a PhD in rockology and the propensity to point with full-throttle moxie up to his ears and unflinchingly declare, “Hey! These things ain’t garbage cans, y’know!”

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