"Ill Inspired " (Self-produced; 2007)

Reviewed by Metal Mark

Wicked Stick hail from Fredricksburg, Virginia and have been around for about three years. They play a style that is largely based on late 80s to early 90s hard rock and metal. They actually bounce back between hard rock and metal some and it's an approach that they handle with relative ease. 

The sound might be comparable to a cross between early LA Guns, "Slave to the Grind" era Skid Row and maybe a dash of early WASP. For some reason they are far heavier than I was expecting and almost every song charges full-on ahead. I was also surprised by just how tight the playing is overall as they waste very little time in any of the nine tracks here. 

The vocals are overall fairly strong and rely more on energy than melody for the most part. 

I am always pleased when an album exceeds my expectations and this one does. There were several moments on this album where I expected the band to go in a safe direction, but they would surprise by keeping the pace strong and maintaining a heavier sound than I predicted. The lyrics are typical for this style, but the music and vocals more than make up for that. 

I do have two complaints about this album though. The first is that too often the guitar is a little low in the mix and it seems to be well below the vocals and drums. This does dampen the overall sound a little and that's a shame because it 's definitely a production issue rather a skill problem. The other is far more minor and that's just that the album seemed a little short. Maybe it's because I liked it and just wanted more, but it seemed like it could have benefited from another song or two. 

Wicked Stick's "Ill Inspired" is an album that I immediately liked because of its in-your-face approach and the fact that I like most of the bands that they sound like. A number of CDs I just review and then tuck them away, but I will probably keep this one in my stereo for at least a little while.

Wicked Stick: Nelson Braswell - Lead Vox; Danny Watts Guitar/Vox; Donnie Wedding - Drums/Vox; Tom Kemp Bass/Vox.

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

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 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 13 May 2024 13:54:23 -0400.