Some artists don't like pissing around when they give titles to their debut EPs. Others are so blunt that they're actually taking the piss. And so, we have today's EP Metal. It's metal, and if you don't like it, you can walk on home, boy. So with all four members of The Big 4 in the process of writing follow-ups the last selection of critically acclaimed albums they released, it's cool to see former members of these bands putting out new releases in the sidelines as well. For some time now, only Dave Mustaine has been able to prove that you can still have a career after leaving Metallica. But now, it seems like longtime bassist and fan favourite Jason Newsted might be about to give his former bandmates a run for their money with his new eponymous band. Because this debut EP is Metal by name and relentlessly metal by nature.
In short, it's metal from head to toe. It's pounces straight into action in sadistic form with single Soldierhead, song that just sounds like the name of any 80's heavy metal band that has influenced Newstead's music. Complete with obvious buildups into big riffs and shredding from guitarist Jessie Farnsworth, it rides out covered in essence of metal, give a touch of extra indestructibility by Newsted's whiskey drenched Motörhead vocals belted out with a rhythmically dramatic ferocity all while he summons up mean basslines which in the EP's mixing has a more substantial role than it did in Metallica.
And while this band puts Newsted at the front of the line for the first time, there are moments that show that he does still have a lot to owe to his time playing in Metallica. With it's slabs of heavy guitars fitted into melodies made for headbanging, Godsnake owes it's dues to songwriting that took place for much of The Black Album while some of King of the Underdogs passages owes it's outpouring of emotion to Ride the Lightning mixed with the more compact bursts of spite that went into the highlights from the mid-nineties Load era. No St. Anger influences, mind. Nope it really is good bursts of old-skool heavy metal, demonstrated brilliantly across Skyscraper giving the band the chance to bust out their Sabbath grooves and slow them down and repeat them over and over again in such a way that would make Sleep proud.
That's really the best explanation I can give you about Metal. It's Metal as fuck. It's more Metal than you'll ever be, without having any extra need to go brutal or anything. Just to show as much aggression and shredding abilities as possible. However, one must consider the fact that the EP just just the right job of being awesome, with only four tracks at 22 minutes. It brings up feelings that the release of an entire album might see Newsted overstay their welcome, unless there's adaptation into more thrash styles that Metallica might have stuck to and songs written in a way that cause that band to realise they lost a truly great member. Imagine how smug that would make the current lot that hate Metallica. I guess we'll have to wait and see what unfolds for Mr. Newsted. Maybe something with a better title.
Newsted's Metal is out now via Chophouse.