Napalm Bats and Suicide Dogs
Ever since getting back together in 2013 with Boogie From Hell, these sludgy, doomy and bluesy Swedes have been really churning them out with 2014’s A Diesel Smelling Aftershock and late 2015’s Napalm Bats and Suicide Dogs. The band actually saw some fame with 2003’s Multiple Organ Harvest, which brought a sort of modernized Nu-Metal feel to their sound, which has since thickened more towards that of 97’s Superevil, albeit with a more rockin’ feel. “Black Mountain” even reminds me a little of Clutch, which certainly isn’t a bad note in my book. These guys are definitely embracing those blues rock elements in full, making for a record that really seems to solidfy their sound at this stage in the game. The bottom line is that these guys could very well rise to fame again with this one, and they should. These songs are loaded with catchy grooves and choruses that’ll get stuck in your head quickly and almost guarantee multiple listens. Best of all, Tony Jelencovich is still on the guitar and vocal end and he really makes this fucking band – I repeat, he REALLY makes this fucking band, folks. I knew that was I was teenager and I can tell you the same at thirty years of age. You’d think I’d have moved on from this stuff when I reached the big 3-0 but that doesn’t seem to be the case, especially when the record sounds just as good as anything else they’ve put out. But I will say that I dug it much more than Boogie From Hell which was still a little rough around the edges. Napalm Bats and Suicide Dogs shows the band with a little more grease on their wheels, and I’ve no doubt that these tracks will fit just perfectly with anything from Multiple Organ Harvest or Superevil.
All of the tracks on the record barely run over four minutes, but that seems to work just fine as they come in and out with a similar yet still different approach to each track that makes the listen feel cohesive. You’re not listening to the same style of song, at least not every time. But you know what? I honestly don’t even mind that. I’ve been a Transport League fan for a long time now and I can tell you that I already know what to expect from them. I don’t think they’re ever going to top “Jesus Came” but this is a pretty damn strong effort nonetheless. You’ve got to give them proper recognition for at least varying up the songs with little bells and whistles (the children shouts in “Kill, Kill Faster” for example) and really working hard to craft not only catchy, but meaningful cuts. “Bag Of Bones” for example is one of the record’s slower, but absolutely thundering tracks, as it unleashes a worthy guitar solo and a ridiculously potent closer. Again, this is where the band truly shines and it’s little moments like the female vocal duet that Jelencovich performs effortlessly with an unknown that will really help to catapult them back to stardom. I still sit and wonder as to how these guys ever got off the map in the first place, with this record being proof that Transport League literally sounds as good as they ever have and delivers a performance that fans will simply not forget. These songs crunch when they need to and really put the Coal Chamber stuff that Dez and crew released this year to shame. But it’s always those little bands that aren’t very popular that wind up blowing the mainstream stuff right out of the water. Definitely give it a listen before the year’s out. You won’t regret it. (Eric May)