Sonic Reducer: Micro Album Reviews Of Skulldron, Miss May I And Light Asylum

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Although this reviewer is admittedly metalist, Skulldron’s awesome band name (although there should be an umlaut over the o) conquered my bigotry and I popped this demo disk into the player the minute it arrived. The overall sound is Sabbath Bloody Sabbath or Motörhead but with Chris Cornell singing. It’s not fast, but it’s heavy. Metal. If Skulldron’s style might be slightly derivative, the band counteracts that with its own killer crunchy riffs and the fact that Ray Cordova can seriously belt it out. Kudos to the drummer for using only one kick drum with a single kick pedal. One of these tunes is a sound board recording and indicates the band delivers a great live performance. Definitely go see the band live. (Geoffrey Plant)

Miss May I At Heart (Rise Records)

This album makes me realize that part of Skulldron’s appeal is its unpretentious bros-smokin’-bud vibe. Miss May, on the other hand, is trying way too hard to achieve metal superstardom. If your drummer needs to use a double kick drum pedal this egregiously, maybe he should just consider getting a drum machine and making 300 BPM rave music instead. If your singer insists on alternating his cookie-monster singing with soaring, emotion and reverb-soaked auto-tuned vocals, maybe he should try out for American Idol. The generic Metallica-influenced guitars are simply uninspired. Half the time it sounds like dudes trying out gear at Guitar Center. There is nothing interesting about this album. (Geoffrey Plant)

Light Asylum Light Asylum (Mexican Summer)

What Clan of Xymox has joined together, let no man put asunder. Listening to Brooklyn-based duo Light Asylum’s self-titled debut instills a sense of boldness. Maybe it’s the aggressive posture and androgynous beauty of front woman Shannon Funchess that conjures this combat boot-stomp attitude. The 10-song paean to freedom, pleasure and anger is a chilly, refreshing injection of synth-punk, industrial, dark wave and acidic pop. Funchess’ high-voltage voice is equally at ease emitting primal growls, issuing militaristic slogans or crooning like a haunted princess. Rainbow-in-the-dark-wave Funchess shines so brightly that her luminescence almost threatens to eclipse the beauty of Bruno Coviello’s electronic arrangements. Almost. (Samantha Anne Carrillo)

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