Vinyl Review: Influence Denied, Eradicator

Released: 2021
Metalville Records

I will give the 2021 album Influence Denied by German thrash band Eradicator one thing – it is the most metally metallic Uber metal album cover to ever exist in the history of the world.

Just how metal?

Spiky band font logo. ✅
Fantasy style painting. ✅
Guy with a sword. ✅
Menacing robot man with electrified claws. ✅
All happening on a misty cliff side. ✅
Random crazy ass gear system looking thing far down a super dangerous rock path. A little weird Eradicator but fine… ✅

This cover gets my official score of “RAGING METALBONER” out of 10.

Influence Denied, Eradicator

You just lost your virginity.

Influence Denied is 10 tracks of bonafide German thrash fury. There is very little let up which is both a blessing and curse. On one hand these guys play the ever loving shit out of their instruments. It is technical, it is fast, it is tight, it is heavy as all hell — but at the same time without a ton of difference in texture throughout it’s run time it also starts to feels a little same-y in places.

So OK — it’s thrash, so you can’t give it too hard of a time for being unrelentingly fast — but I do enjoy thrash that almost feels acrobatic. Riffs evolve and weave in and out of each other, changing tempo and speed with razor sharp precision — that’s my shit — and we DO see some of that here. And honestly the moments Influence Denied DOES slow itself down, DOES differentiate itself with a really unique, “riffier riff” and the moments the drummer stops to catch his breath are the moments it starts to really become something special.

Tracks like “Echo Chamber”, which starts with a really crushing, almost doomy riff, gives the faster, more spastic parts of the song something to play off of. I love that.

The lyrics are so-so, but come on, these guys are german. They are doing the best they can saying bad-ass sounding stuff. You’re not listening to Eradicator for china doll fragile prose. They sing about Jackals, suffering and darkness. Ya know, metal shit.

Oddly enough, my least favorite riff is the first thing you hear on the album. “Driven by Illusion” starts with a super generic metal riff — I don’t even know how to describe it: it’s a harmonic sounding, Shadows Fall type thing. It just doesn’t do it for me. Luckily the rest of the album — and the song itself — moves on and blossoms into something really cool.

As a testament to how I discover music these days I actually found Eradicator on some dudes list of thrash albums for 2021 in a YouTube comment section. I bought it blind based on their ranking. Influence Denied is exactly as advertised. A bunch of scary looking German dudes playing fast, modern thrash metal. It’s heavy, it’s fast and it’s recorded super well. It’s a fun record — albeit generic here and there — but I’m glad I gave it a chance.

3.5/5 earth destroying robots

Vinyl Review: Jerry Reed, Live featuring Hot Stuff

Released: 1977
RCA Victor Records

Jerry Reed.

The Smokey and the Bandit guy… or is it Cannonball Run?

Anyway, he’s the country music guy that cackles a lot and looks vaguely like Lady Elaine from Mister Rogers Neighborhood. Yeah, him. I knew very little about him outside of “Eastbound and Down” before taking my dad’s vinyl collection. Luckily (or unluckily) my dad had approximately 6,000 Jerry Reed records to go through. So there’s that. I’m now Jerry Reed’s biggest fan — by default.

Jerry Reed, Live featuring Hot Stuff, was released in 1979 on RCA Victor Records. Recorded live at the Exit/In in Nashville, Tennessee, I really have no frame of reference to how much of his career the record covers.

I am of two minds when it comes to Jerry Reed. His faster, rockier stuff, the “outlaw country” style of work is really good. Like, really good. Where he falters are his ballads — which are super sappy and remind me of something people in the 70’s lost their virginity to in a Monte Carlo. Ok, that’s super specific. It’s super schmaltzy. It has strings. It’s bad. But when he rocks, he rocks hard. Live featuring Hot Stuff shows off a lot of the rock n’ roll side of Jerry.

https://youtu.be/W84493ZI7uM

Highlights

“Guitar Man”

If I had a favorite Jerry Reed song it would be “Guitar Man”. When Jerry Reed is “on” his music is like a freight train. It chugs along, rattling and shaking everything in it’s path. It’s the soundtrack of a roadhouse somewhere in Texas that I would get my ass kicked. “It’s gonna be loud, hang on to whatcha got, I’ll try not to hurt you bad”, he says before the song starts. Hell, if every Jerry Reed song had this tempo, momentum and energy I’d be a huge fan. Not to mention, the guy can SHRED on guitar when he wants to.

3.5/5 cackling jerry reed heads

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