Following repeated listens to Razorback’s new album and just prior to writing my actual review I glanced at the label-supplied biography only to find out that Massacre Records repetitively describes Razorback as “modern.” Don’t know about you, but Whitesnake, Gillan, Bad Company and Badlands are not my idea of a modern band. It is clear that Massacre Records is either in denial or wants to sell something other than what it has. Either way, it has all the makings of a weird situation.
Formed by former Company Of Snakes members, Razorback is indeed not far removed from the style of that band or early Whitesnake. While bands preserving the organic sound originally espoused by the aforementioned bands are rare, Razorback does not automatically qualify for a thumbs up. In fact, the band’s performance is only average. The album’s opener, The Flame Still Burns (even the band seems to disagree with its label), is slow, deep and moody. Whitesnake is a good band, but It’s Alright is not a good imitation given its pop/rock sensibility and vocals effects. This can be the album’s single nonetheless. The vocals swing between poppy and soulful, but sound close to Ian Gillan’s screams at the very beginning. The singing is merely OK on the title track, but the mechanical drums and fuzzy bass sound kill the effect. Vampire has good riffs and reminds one of early Judas Priest, but suffers because of a couple of vocal experimentations. The album’s official slow song is called Hard To Say Goodbye and suffers from cheesy lyrics. The album ends on a relatively positive note. The Point Of No Return (surely, that is not the band’s intention) is above average.
Razorback is still a work in progress apparently. One roots for the band given the scarcity of its adopted style, but the rough edges are indeed very coarse still. Moreover, a couple of more lead guitar parts would be most welcome as well. Then there is the matter of the record company being in denial... - Ali “The Metallian”