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Released: 2013, Self Released
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
Sometimes you just need to hear something heavy. Something without any shtick or pretense, something that's just going to slug you in the jaw and kick you in the nards while you bang your head in frenzied bliss. Should you happen to find yourself in just such a predicament, have no fear, because Toronto’s Outlaw Renegades have the cure for what ails ya. Their debut 3-track EP HELLBOUND is a brief but potent blend of crunchy thrash, fat grooves and slick leads that succeeds as a good time hit n’ run.
Musically, HELLBOUND sounds like a crockpot of COWBOYS FROM HELL, C.O.C.s BLIND, and a peppering of classic thrash a la Sacred Reich or more recent Death Angel, which makes for an end result that’s immediately catchy. The 3 tunes are all hard hitting anthem style rockers that wouldn’t sound entirely out of place on your local rock radio station, but avoid dumbing down the proceedings for the lowest common denominator of the listening audience. “The Island” and current single/video “Rise” are both mid-tempo slammers that ride a series of loose, buoyant riffs, while “Face My Demons” is a bit more emo, playing up vocalist Nathan Stokes’s gritty wail in its sing-a-long chorus. The band sounds particularly tight and capable, never straying outside of the boundaries of what each song dictates. And Stokes’s delivery is reminiscent of a more baritone Chad Gray (Mudvayne/Hellyeah), which helps to add some texture to each tune. Recorded at The Crows Nest studios, the overall presentation and production are clean and professional, and admittedly, the whole thing left me wanting to hear more. Mission accomplished fellas.
But what I find really endearing about Outlaw Renegades is that they’re arguably the first band reviewed on this site to have made an appearance on The Discovery Channel program “Cash Cab.” Even more props to Stokes for facilitating what is possibly the first appearance of a Death t-shirt on a Discovery Channel program. What’s not to like about these guys? As I write this, the band is still wrapping up the finishing touches on HELLBOUND so purchase info isn’t readily available, but check out the Outlaw Renegades website to for more details and to stream samples, or just to view their Cash Cab appearance (spoiler alert, they don’t suck).
1. The Island
3. Face My Demons
Nathan Stokes – Vocals
Kris Markov – Bass
Geni Elenkov – Drums
Terry Kulaga – Guitar
Josh Smith – Guitar
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