SPINESHANK

"Anger Denial Acceptance" (Century Media; 2012) 

Reviewed by Snidermann

In the course of reviewing music over the years, sometimes you're lucky enough to get to know some of the bands personally. That is the case with Spineshank.

Rough Edge reviewed Spineshank back in 1998, and we watched the band progress into a power house metal band. They faded away for awhile as Jonny Santos explored thrash with Silent Civilian but now they are back and the name of their new recording is a perfect example of what Spineshank has become: "Anger Denial Acceptance."

"Anger Denial Acceptance" is a powerful representation of heavy metal music, with a shattering darkness that drips with each cut. When the band is not assaulting your sense of hearing, the deep soul-wrenching melodic staging is playing with your version of what is right or wrong.

It has been a few years since Spineshank has released a new recording but, with "Anger Denial Acceptance," they have made up for lost time with this kick ass metal release.

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

"Self-Destructive Pattern" (Roadrunner Records; 2003) 

Reviewed by Snidermann

This is the third Spineshank CD I have reviewed and let me tell you, rock fans - like fine wine and Alice Cooper - this shit just gets better with age.

"Self-Destructive Pattern" is a more refined, more tightly produced version of Spineshank's rock mayhem. It goes as far as it possibly can toward mainstream without ever getting near there because, if it did, Spineshank would be just another run of the mill rock band and that would be a shame. They're far too unique and original for that.

Although "Self-Destructive Pattern" is somewhat different than previous Spineshank releases, it's still just as good. I think fans will find it another great addition to the incredible Spineshank catalog. The CD features the same aggressive edge we've come to expect from the band while at the same time polishing the edges a little. It sounds great!

One quick, grumpy critic note: I'm giving this CD only three chainsaws out of four because the promo we received featured an "audio stamp." What's an audio stamp? It's some guy screaming out "Spineshank, Self-Destructive Pattern, in stores this July" at some point during each and every song. Thanks to the fucking pirates out there, I couldn't get into the whole Spineshank experience because I was assaulted with an ad every four and a half minutes. I know and understand why Roadrunner Records does this but that doesn't change the fact that it annoys the shit out of me. This CD's probably worth the full four chainsaw rating but I can't in good conscience give it that thanks to that damn audio stamp. Maybe when I pick up the un-edited CD (or when Roadrunner sends me one ... hint, hint) I'll up this rating to four stars.

Spineshank: Johnny Santos - vocals; Tom Decker - drums; Mike Sarkisyan - guitars; Robert Garcia - bass.

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

"The Height of Callousness" (Roadrunner Records; 2000) 

Reviewed by Snidermann

Spineshank has done it again. This shit is totally fresh and alive. The music of Spineshank assaults the nervous system with an intensity that is still hard to describe but which leaves the listener breathless and wanting more.

I gladly played it again and again.

Explosive, hard hitting, straight to the point rock'n'roll is what Spineshank delivers. In addition, the lyrics are smart, clever and deep - the kind of lyrics that make you think while you listen. Get to your local record store or order this one online now! "The Height of Callousness" is not to be missed.

Spineshank is Johnny Santos - vocals; Tommy Decker - drums and electronics; Soren "Mike" Sarkisyan - guitars; Robert Garcia - bass and vocals. 

"Strictly Diesel" (Roadrunner Records; 1998) 

Reviewed by Snidermann

Betrayal: to be unfaithful or disloyal. In other words - to be stabbed in the back by a friend. That's what SPINESHANK is all about. Anger, intense aggression, regret and a few other emotions are mixed with screaming vocals, tight electronics, wailing guitars for a twisted, roaring metal/industrial machine in maximum overdrive mode. 

SPINESHANK formed in 1996 in Los Angeles and in September of that same year released a three track demo that was a big success with the local music crowd. The demo got the attention of Fear Factory guitarist Dino Cazares who became the band's biggest fan. Dino gave Spineshank the best of all possible opportunities - the chance to open for Fear Factory and labelmates Coal Chamber at the Whiskey A-Go-Go in Los Angeles. 

The show was a great success and was a spring-board for bigger things to come for the band. "Strictly Diesel" is a study in the darker side of human behavior born out of the backstabbing rampant in the LA (or, for that matter, anywhere else) music scene. 

From the CD's opening song, "Intake," you know you are in for a rockin' fun ride. So hang on!! 

"Strictly Diesel" boasts 14 tunes that fuse the metal/aggression of bands like Fear Factory, Machine Head, Sepultura, Tool and the Deftones. One of the CD's highlights is a bitchin' rendition of the Beatles tune, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." 

Spineshank's music is strangely compelling with a hypnotic quality that is immediate, hard to explain and even harder not to like. The lyrics are poignant and straight to the point and, although the screaming vocals do sometimes get in the way of the music, Johnny Santos does an outstanding job behind the mic. 

I would recommend SPINESHANK to any heavy/industrial fan there is. 

SPINESHANK is Johnny Santos - vocals; Tom Decker - drums; Mike Sarkisyan - guitars; Robert Garcia - bass.

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 2012 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06 Mar 2016 14:20:07 -0500.