"Secret Skin" (Self-released; 2006)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton


On "Secret Skin," 40 Cycle Hum combine a gritty melodic metal with effective vocals and a great pop sensibility to deliver eleven tracks of solid rock'n'roll that is lively, hearty and never boring.

Driven by big chunks of crushing guitar, a rhythm backbone that pushes forward like a freight train and a vocalist who can sound like he's singing hardcore one moment and Top 40 radio the next, "Secret Skin" burns through its eleven tracks like a blowtorch through balsa wood. It sounds a little like Black Label Society with just a wee bit focus on the being so heavy. The band isn't afraid to funk it up every now and then, either. Take "Reach Out," for example, and its Red Hot Chili Peppers vibe.

One of the big surprises here is the band's cover of Real Life's "Send Me an Angel," a song that you would have sworn would never make a great hard rock song but which 40 Cycle Hum make their own. "Send Me an Angel" is not only a great cover song but a great re-imagining of a song. If only more covers were this good!

Those looking for a modern metal sound that isn't too radio-friendly or too extreme will find something to like on 40 Cycle Hum's "Secret Skin."

40 Cycle Hum: Brandon Mitchell - vocals; Mark Zavon - guitars; Kenny Lefort - bass; Francis Ruiz - drums.

For more information, check out http://www.40cyclehum.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2008 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 May 2024 14:45:22 -0400.