Released: 2005, Screaming Ferret Wreckords
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
How I missed this CD the first time around I don’t know, but man is this an ass-kicker! C.I.A. is a side project that Nuclear Assault drummer Glenn Evans put together in the early 90s. Their second album, ATTITUDE, was originally released in 1992 but Screaming Ferret Wreckords has licensed the re-release and will hopefully get it the attention it deserves. The lyrics and music on ATTITUDE were written and performed entirely by Evans except for some lead guitar by Dave DiPietro, a bandmate of Evans’ in another side project of the time called T.T. Quick and original Nuclear Assault axeman Anthony Bramante. The songs tend to lean towards thrash but with some punk-ish leanings, as well. There is not a bad song to be found here and Evans really surprised me as a musician as well as a vocalist. He isn’t going to be threatening the holy metal triumvirate of Halford/Tate/Dickinson but this is pretty solid stuff. The guitar work is a real highlight with razor-sharp riffing and soloing galore, plus excellent drumming from Evans. The songs are short and sweet with some melodic parts but speedy late 80s/early 90s thrash is still the name of the game.
“Ace In The Hole” has clever lyrics with Evans pondering his future as his marriage and band were dissolving under him. The chorus is catchy as hell and stuck in my mind for awhile as is the case with many of the tracks on ATTITUDE. “Can’t Find My Way” and “No Need To Impress” feature some serious guitar shredding from DiPietro and Bramante that are among the highlights on the CD. Evans’ drumming skills get the spotlight on “Land of Doom and Gloom” as he unleashes a double-bass battering that could stand alongside anything he did in Nuclear Assault. The aggressive track is further punctuated by Evans’ vocal delivery, which brings back memories of early James Hetfield at times. One thing I thought odd was that “Can’t Find My Way” and “No Remorse” appear to have identical vocal patterns in the verses. I don’t mean similar either—I’m talking IDENTICAL! The lyrics are different but each contains two, four line verses and Evans’ delivery is plagiarizing itself.
Even though ATTITUDE was released thirteen years ago, it sounds modern enough not to be an anachronism and the remastering has given a breath of fresh of air to the typically dated sound of that era. Kudos to Screaming Ferret for unearthing this gem of an album from obscurity. ATTITUDE was difficult to find when it was originally released in 1992 but after getting polished up, the aggressive sound of C.I.A. has been unleashed on another generation of metalheads hungry for the nostalgia of the golden age of thrash.
KILLER KUTS: “Ace In The Hole,” “Can’t Find My Way,” “No Need To Impress,” “Land of Doom and Gloom”