Anyone who's read any of my reviews probably has a pretty good idea of my old-school sensibilities when it comes to music. I've been listening to music for my whole life and it's tough to find anything that sounds fresh these days. So the reasons for my old-school tastes are simple. I'm old. I've heard a lot in my life. It's all been done before. Most of it was done before I even came into this world, so to expect anything wholly original 37 years later is ludicrous.
But nostalgia? It has its place, though it is a defeatist mindset. It usually says, "Fuck it. Why try? We can't sound new, so let's just sound old." It's nothing new to embrace a genre for your specific sound - in this case, thrash metal - but to co-opt an era as well? That, my friends takes balls. Short Sharp Shock, known more commonly as SSS, takes the thrash and makes no apologies that what they're trying to achieve is the mid-eighties thrash sound. Now, anyone who knows what this is knows it's a very specific sound indeed. A sound that I happen to absolutely love, but reading the band's promo, I was dubious to say the least. The words "S.O.D." and "Metallica" are thrown around as adjectives, so the cynic inside tells me that there's no fucking way these twats from Liverpool can pull this off, but the audacity has certainly piqued my interest.
In short, they almost pull it off. Almost. They got the sound right. I would say more of the Eastcoast S.O.D. style is represented as opposed to the Bay Area. I can say without patronization that I admire their love of what they try to represent but talk about painting yourself into a corner. The songs are all original compositions but with a limited palette at their disposal. SSS unfortunately manage to sound like little more than a cover band, albeit the coolest cover band most of us could ever see.
I don't want to shit on SSS because I see what they're doing and I admire the effort. But it's time to move on. As much as I would love to see a thrash resurgence, it just isn't going to happen. The moment is gone. S.O.D, Metallica, Death Angel - any giants of the genre are shells of their former selves. But we'll always have the music from back in the day. Hell, we'll even have the DVD, when the Get Thrashed documentary gets released.
I'd really like to see what SSS would able to do if they were to go full-bore hardcore, which some of the music on their self-titled release hints at. These boys can play for damn sure. But trying to recapture lightning in a bottle isn't going to do anyone any favors, least of all, themselves.
6.9 / 10
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