'Sonic Transmission Dethdrive'

(Sunset records)

MARK: 82/100

Along comes the debut from this young New Zealand trio; 12 tracks from which their talent shines through, as well as few drum beat mistakes and vocal imperfections. Luckily this deals with a strictly limited number of episodes due to the lack of a high budget which might have allowed longer time in the studio to correct or even better give the opportunity of more takes. It is expected, however, that time and gigs will amalgamate the band more, included the newcomer, that is the 44-year-old new skinbeater who was thrown in immediately after the full-length recording to replace the outgone one.
The kind of Rock they supply is defined 'Beer Rock' by themselves and I find it appropriate, since the will and spontaneousness of playing Rock without a showy decoration, keyboards or intros is plain either in distorted compositions and in acoustic ones. The funny high on artwork and the dry minimalistic recording are a confirmation to that.
Sometimes Sex And Addiction recur to (or unconsciously exceed the limits of Rock) Punk rock tunes, both lyrically and stylistically and that proves to be a well-conceived idea, embellishing their toughest songs thanks to excellent qualities of arrangement.

The opener "Drugs and Alcohol" is involving Punk rock, if not for the pity of the 2 out of time drum beats at the end, whereas "Rich Kidz" is a good example of how to write a Modern rock song.
The love ballad "10/10" will surprise you
with its top-notch vocal hooks, while "Die in Vain" delivers awesome matches between guitar and voice, enriched by the drums' entry. Indisputable masterpiece.
Those in search for fast, short, straight Punk rock should pay special attention to "Kamakaze", completed by a promo video; necessary to stress out the perfection of the refrain and the stunning vocal crescendo, followed by a guitar solo, the only one of the whole album.
Even more biting, "Hairy Muff" would be comfortable to Beastie Boys, Sex Pistols or Ramones had they written that, but on the contrary it's a hit that the 3-piece will be asked for every time at their live-shows.
Although "S.T.D." has been released on CD only, the end of this song, the long pause and the way "One Day" begins seem suitable for an LP, but I guess it is 50% a coincidence and 50% a mastering choice in order to emphasize we're at the very half of the record. This seventh track is based upon an acoustic guitar, one riff and one refrain with a minimal variation to the theme, yet it's another great song of old-school Rock.
"PMB" blends a rippling drumwork and tight vocals, preceding "Pure Poison", a composition destined to be particularly appreciated by Extreme's and Christian rock's fans. Simply amazing is the gluey chorus which will not detach from your minds so easily.
"Skin N Ink" reminds of something by Green Day, but with the New Zealanders it's always a matter of very few instants; in fact, no matter how unexpected it might be from a young band, they already own a personal style and they can also count on a singer whose timbre is original enough, which is vital when you don't play an extreme genre and the voice needs to stand out and show how unique it is.
This composition is nothing but a rigmarole including Rap vocals in the middle part, and no matter how weird it might sound it's the truth and it works!
Amps distorted again during "Get Inside", telling the vocalist's craving for a girl in the crowd who's awoken his lust; I just can't stop listening to this again and again, in a loud volume permanently!
Finally, "Hollywood Victim" melancholically describes the sad story of an unlucky hopeless girl on the verge of a suicide. Just because it is an exception to the concept of 'Beer Party Rock' expressed so far in all the possible facades, the entwining of guitars and vocals does touch the soul here, and the brief piano lines will make more than one tear fall down on your faces; that's why it appears hugely likely the singer or the whole band has really known this person, or it wouldn't have come out so well.

If it hadn't been for those 2 or 3 drums and voice performance faults, the final mark would've been close to the sublime. Now I'll grab a couple of beers and I'll start playing it again, cos "Sonic Transmission Dethdrive" is like sex; once out of 12 times it may occur that sexual intercourse leaves a slight bitter taste in your mouth, but that doesn't prevent you from wanting it again daily.


Line-up on this record:
Alex 'Ginge' Pugh - b.
Dylan Berry - g. and v.
Scott Mogregor - d. and backing v.

Frasers BD, RD 2 Leeston, Canterbury 7682 - New Zealand

Official sites:


-Sonic Transmission Dethdrive (CD - 2009)