"Bootcamp 2000" (Demo)

Reviewed by Jason Savage

Today's demo review comes from Oakland, CA. The band is called Scorched-Earth Policy and they bring to the table what they call the "Bootcamp Demo." From the depths of San Francisco Bay, rose this hard-corps quartet back in 1997. With two EPs already under their belt; 1998's "Insurrection," and 1999's "Tones of Ambivalence XCIX," produced by Grammy award winning producer Neil Kernon (Judas Priest, Queensryche, Nevermore), Scorched-Earth Policy has ignited the flame and has gained the attention of several college/independent radio stations in the US and Europe, as well as many of my fellow reviewers.

In March of 2000, Scorched-Earth Policy entered Trident Studios with veteran engineer Thilo Fehlinger (Skinlab, 40 Grit) to lay down the four blistering tracks that comprise "Bootcamp 2000." In fact, Neil Kernon was so impressed that he offered to mix a few of the new tracks. The band was started by guitarist Mark Lamb and drummer Lance Lea. Rounding out the entourage are vocalist John Miller, who once was in Wardance, an offspring project of Exodus members Gary Holt and Tom Hunting, ex-Bonecrusher guitarist Carlos Santiago and bassist George Astin. With the pertinent bio info out of the way, let's spin the disc.

Leading this brutal metal massacre is "Come Clean." A surefire pit igniter, the listener is bombarded by Miller's hardcore rant and a two pronged guitar attack. SEP blends both old and new styles of metal. The vocals definitely sound new as does one guitar whilst the other sounds more like Exodus and other Bay area thrash kings. Even though they are loud and noisy, I hear  some good fretwork going on with the second guitar as well.

Up next is a dual vocal foray called "Politics." Initially we hear two vocalists singing the same words in different voices. One higher and the other much deeper and menacing. Heavy guitars aren't scarce here as SEP cranks out some righteous string breakers.

"F.I.N.E.," continues along the road well trodden drawing influences from the likes of Sevendust, Machine Head and even "Soul Searching Sun" era Life of Agony. This offering is more melodic even in its heaviness.

Lastly is "Reclusion," starting with some ditty of a blues sample or something, it picks up tremendously, reverting back to Miller's Lajon Witherspoon meets Layne Staley rasp. The guitars even invade the territory of prog metal for awhile, adding a whole new dimension to this onslaught. 

As a whole I really liked this demo. Miller's vocal ability did extreme justice to this guitar driven invasion as SEP showed us how draining "bootcamp" can really be. 

Visit Scorched-Earth Policy at

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 2001 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11 Sep 2022 13:46:20 -0400 .