"The Underdog" (Headstone Records; 2017)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

Four Star Revival's "The Underdog" starts off with a bang with the title track, a driving number with an irresistible riff highlighted by sturdy vocals that sometimes remind you of the legendary Ronnie James Dio. And that title track sets the stage for the rest of this EP. Track 2, "Liar," continues the trend, with a meatier tone and a heavier feel.

In fact, it isn't until Track 3 that the lyrics to "Rumors of War" make you realize that Four Star Revival are a Christian-themed band. And that's a good thing. That means that, unlike too many Christian bands, they're not shoving their faith down your throat. Instead they're expertly blending it with the music so it sounds more like rock'n'roll and not a sermon.

Track 4 comes along, "Broken," a slower tune with a big drum sound, and closing out the album is the probably its best track, "The Garden of Good and Evil," a track that sounds a little like Judas Priest, even on the vocals. It's a great tune throughout, big and bold, and it does exactly what the last song on the EP should do: Make you want to hear more.

Fans of classic heavy metal will find plenty to like on "The Underdog" and, if that's you, this is a band you should definitely explore.

And, hey, how about that awesome album cover art?

Four Star Revival: Jack Emrick - vocals; Benny Bodine - guitar; Ed Girard - bass; Paul Strausburg - drums.

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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 2017 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 May 2024 14:45:23 -0400.