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Tales from the Gutter
August 2010
Released: 2010, Self Released
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz

The resurgence of old school metal doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, but for some bands, it never ended in the first place. Such is the case with Hollywood’s RattleheaD and their latest full length, TALES FROM THE GUTTER. With feet firmly planted in 1989, the album is a throwback to a time when heavy music didn’t take itself too seriously and it was okay for a band to have some fun.

If TALES FROM THE GUTTER had been released 20 years ago, it may have been huge. If I didn’t know that the album had just been released this summer, I could have easily pegged it as part of some obscure thrash catalog from the late 80’s. That’s not a slag on the band or its approach, but the 10 tracks on the album will definitely make you wonder where you put your tight jeans and high top sneakers. Reminiscent of bands like Sacred Reich, Ludichrist, and maybe even a little Nuclear Assault, RattleheaD delivers fast riffs and sing-a-long gang choruses. With such a familiar approach, the album does tread into “been there, heard that” territory, but songs like “A.W.O.L.”, “the Losing Hand” and “Digging My Own Grave” sound fresh and full of energy. Big props to lead axe man Francis Ausley – this guy needs some more time in the spotlight, as his tasty solo work really does a lot to push the album forward.

Vocalist Nick Baranov comes off a little like Tommy Victor with a head cold, which takes a little getting used to, but you can hear the guy’s conviction for his music. Baranov’s vocals sound double tracked across the entire album and the result comes off a little distracting in places, and still sounds kind of weak against the backdrop of the music itself. It’s nitpicky, I know, but it stuck out song after song and sounds kind of awkward after a while.

If your metal has to be groundbreaking or innovative, walk on by. If you like your metal covered in stale beer and cheap smokes, RattleheaD might be just what you’re looking for. It took a few listens to really appreciate it, but TALES FROM THE GUTTER grew on me with each spin. Definitely one for the old school at heart, interested parties can pick up a copy through RattleheaD’s website.
Track Listing

1. Overture 666
2. Just Stay Down
3. A.W.O.L.
4. Nightmares Never Sleep
5. Walk with the Dead
6. The Losing Hand
7. Love Song (Bleach Bath)
8. Digging My Own Grave
9. Sign Off Your Life
10. Bottom Shelf Shuffle (F.U.F.)


Nick Baranov - Guitar, Vocals
Francis Ausley- Lead Guitar
Carlos "Shadow" - Bass, Vocals
Adam "AJ Stixxx" Jones – Drums

Other reviews

» Step Inside for the Slaughter
by Luxi Lahtinen

» Tales from the Gutter
by Aaron Yurkiewicz

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