Though this East Bay outfit might be a new name for us, the three players involved have been in some of the most noted punk bands of this generation.
Together as Charger, this flourishing project is unleashed with the sort of energy that blows hinges off of doors and ignites barroom brawls with thundering nods to 70s hard rock that’s visceral enough for any hardcore punk fan and abrasive enough for any metalhead.
The quick listen leads with “Crackdown,” where furious guitars and crashing percussion align somewhere between punk and hardcore, and “Victim” takes that lead into a darker, biting setting that’s more metallic, while “Damage” tips its hat to prog rock with plenty of power and melody.
Deeper tracks, like the hardcore-influenced “All Kings Must Die” and the roaring guitar solos of “Pray For Ligh,t” keep the template un-contained, and “Dragdown” recruits traditional metal ideas into a dramatic and dynamic finisher to a record where each track tackles different approaches to raw and charged sounds.
Although it’s tough not to mention the impressive roots of the members of Charger, it’s also unnecessary, as this one soars on its own merits. Let’s just say that everyone reading this probably owns at least two records these guys played on in previous or other outfits, and these seven tunes are a must for anyone who cites Motorhead, Dio or even Neurosis as inspiration.