Reviewed: December 1999
Released: 1999, Auburn Records
Heading into the new millennium, there seems to be a paradoxical trend of new bands that form and look back to the 80’s as a blueprint for the style of heavy metal that they play. How many bands are out there now that are doing nothing more than ripping off the classic riffs and melody lines from 80’s giants like Iron Maiden, Exodus, and Accept? Too frickin’ many! Sure, the 80’s were a heady time for heavy metal (although there are some who would say that the 80’s ruined metal – idiots!), but it’s time to move on. How? Well, strangely, bands like Breaker will get us there. I say “strange” because Breaker was/is an 80’s band. Playing a style of metal that borrows greatly from the band who shares their name with this EP, Breaker have returned after a long absence to give a swift kick in the ass to today’s music scene. ‘Sides, they’ve got to show these young whippersnappers a thing or two about straight-ahead, down-the-pipe, heavy metal.
Comprised of 3 classics previously released on their Get Tough CD, and 3 unreleased tracks, Accept is a screamer of an album. Speaking of screamer, vocalist Jim Hamar leads the charge with a voice that is equal parts Dirkschneider, Dio, and Dickinson. He is the perfect compliment to the band’s tough, beer-soaked riffage. Blasting out of the gates with a punishing cover of Accept’s “Breaker”, the boys quickly build their mightiest monument to heavy metal with “Still Life”. Swear to God, this is the single most stirring headbanger that I’ve heard in a long, long time! This track alone is worth buying the EP for, AND the Get Tough album! “10 Seconds In” continues the attack, but, then, a couple of songs later the band smacks you upside the head with “Action”. This song is so good, it just barely loses the best song race to “Still Life”. As if that wasn’t enough, the band rushes you, kicking’, screaming’, and beer-stained out the door with the speedy “Life Of Crime”. Simple, metallic beauty.
Unfortunately, that’s where the EP should have ended, as the demo version of “Sleepless Nights” just isn’t up to par with the rest of the album. Hamar’s vocals are off-key for most of the song and the band’s performance just isn’t as inspired as it should be. But really, who cares? The rest of this gem is too damned rockin’ to give a damn. Don Depew and Mike Klein shred their guitars into splinters, Brook Hodges blows his amps into bass-hell, and Mark Klein pounds his drums into a squishy mush. All the while Hamar wails overtop like a possessed banshee. Pure heavy metal. Look for the Get Tough reissue sometime in early 2000. Buy it!
Auburn Records contact: PO Box 925, Medina, Ohio 44258-0925, USA.
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