BOOZE CONTROL The Lizard Rider
No, this is not an album by your local alcoholic beverage regulatory commission, nor is the band a Tankard knock-off. Actually, Booze Control are a four-piece traditional heavy metal band from Braunschweig, Germany (a lovely city that I had occasion to visit a few years ago for a gig at the Meier Music Hall). They’ve been kicking around since 2009 and have three full-length albums to their name, counting this brand-new ‘The Lizard Rider’ opus. Of late, it seems that Booze Control’s career is on the upswing, as the lads are sporting a higher profile and enjoying their new collaboration with France’s reliable, high-quality Inferno Records label.
I’ve seen Booze Control described as a New Wave of Traditional Heavy Metal / NWoBHM act. While I can agree with that classification, there’s definitely something quintessentially ‘80s German metal about them too. It’s hard to describe, but I detect a certain youthful naivete to their approach that sounds vibrant, refreshing and delightfully unaffected. The songs are simple, catchy and fun. Booze Control don’t try to dazzle with you technical wizardry, overpower you with pummeling heaviness, or shred you with blazing speed. Instead, the 10 tracks on ‘The Lizard Rider’ are just honest, old-fashioned heavy metal, with a warm retro production. It’s like listening to, I dunno, Gravestone or Brainfever or Faithful Breath or the first Custard EP or early Stormwitch even, which to me is an awesome thing. For a more modern comparison, Metal Inquisitor wouldn’t be a million miles off target. Guitarist/vocalist David Kuri adds to the effect with his slightly quirky, nasally, but clean mid-ranged vocals that perfectly enhance the classic German heavy metal vibe of the entire project. For the most part, the songs on ‘The Lizard Rider’ hover around the four-minute mark, nice mid-tempo tunes with twin-guitar riffs that get the head nodding and choruses that get the voice participating. That said, the band prove adept at hitting the gas pedal from time to time, most notably on “Metal Frenzy.”
‘The Lizard Rider’ is the kind of album that has a certain endearing quality, so it should come as no surprise that I have a soft spot for its charms. It’s pure, undiluted, uncomplicated heavy metal from the heart, and man, the world could always use more of that. What’s more, some of these songs are real earworms. Traditional metal doesn’t get a whole lot catchier or more hummable than “The Wizard” and “Gravelord,” two amazing tunes which get me singing along every single time. Other highlights include single/video tune “Vile Temptress,” the infectious dual-axe melody swing of “Nevermore,” and the mighty “Fury Road,” but the whole album rocks. Oh, and you “guest appearance” buffs will be pleased to hear that Jackie Slaughter of Skull Fist lays down a scorching solo on “Rats in the Walls.” I still don’t know why the hell this album is called ‘The Lizard Rider’ (I guess it has something to do with the song “Vera,” which references “eats lizards like a feast” as to a particular lethal weapon, or is it a woman?), but I know the music and the cover art alike are bad-ass. That’s good enough for me.
~ Review by Kit Ekman ~
The german band Booze Control plays a brand of Heavy Metal nearly extinct in the 21st century: True, loud and sharp as a razor! Heavy Metal is also the title of their studiodebut, which was released in late 2013. Engaging leads, brutal riffing or screams to split your ears, Booze Control bring all of the above! Currently the band is on tour, to promote the album Heavy Metal.
When the band was founded in September '09 the date for their first gig was already set. Preperations are hasty at best. None the less, the line-up of David Kuri (Vocals/Guitar), Jendrik Seiler (Guitar), Steffen Kurth (Bass) and Lauritz Jilge (Drums) is an instant hit. Under these circumstances the almost six weeks of time are more than enough to write and learn enough songs to play their very first show. These same songs are recorded and put on the EP Wanted, which is released in October 2009. The mixture of raw sound and relentless energy convince fans and critcs alike, which leads to a festival show and an interview
at a local radio station.
In April 2011 the band record their first full length release Don't Touch While Running. Since Wanted is fully out of stock at this point a few songs are re-release. Don't Touch broadens the band's sound and „takes the listener back to the good old days from the first second onward” (metal.de). Further succesfull open air shows with bands such as Destruction and Ensiferum follow. While fans seem to enjoy the show, the local promoter of a small, genre free festival in Germany seems to be unable to cope with the sheer volume and cuts the band's power during a live-television recording.
Thanks to the support of their fans Booze Control manage to score a show in Hamburg during the Hard Rock Rising contest 2013 and win the semifinals of the Black Temple Band Contest 2013. December 13th 2013 marks the release of the band's first studio release, boldly titled Heavy Metal, which was well received by critics and fans alike. After 2013 which was dominated by rehearsals and recoding sessions, Booze Control are currently negotiating with agencies and labels.
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/boozecontrol
Website: http://www.boozecontrol.de (German)
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