"Beginnings" (Self-released; 2020)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

If you've been a Rough Edge Reader for a long time, you'll know that we have a tough time giving EPs a full three guitarsaw rating (and never four guitarsaws). It's not that the music isn't worth three (or four) guitarsaws, it's that you can't always tell enough about a band with only three or four songs; at least not enough to give them that high rating.

I'm making an exception with Rival Order and their "Beginnings" EP. "

"Beginnings" starts out as though the EP has already been playing and you're joining it in progress. "Illusion" starts off straight on the block, and then saunters along at a medium, heavy pace. Track 2, "Save Me," comes to life with an edgy guitar riff that stays nasty throughout the entire chugging track. Finally, "War Transmission" closes out the EP with another chugging tune, highlighted by growling vocals and a hard-driving pace.

The musicianship throughout is tight and explosive. Lead vocalist Chris Clancy has one of those sturdy, powerful voices that can tip over out of dirty territory into scary monster growls at the flick of the switch. He reminds me a bit of the legendary Dee Snider. Guitarists Joey Rival and Pat Reilly give each track a driving fullness that celebrates the heavy. Kurt Holtz on the drums delivers a steam hammer backbone while Lou Hannoe's bass gives the music its deep end.

Like I said, it's only three songs and maybe these are the best three songs the band has. Maybe these are the only three songs the band has. Regardless, I'm impressed and am looking forward to hearing more from Rival Order.

Rival Order: Kurt Holtz Drums; Lou Hannoe Bass; Chris Clancy Vocals; Joey Rival Guitarist & Songwriter; Pat Reilly Lead Guitar.

For more information, check out https://www.rivalorder.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 2020 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.