"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Meth Leppard - "Meth Leppard" (CD)

Meth Leppard - "Meth Leppard" CD cover image

"Meth Leppard" track listing:

1. Hit the Pipe
2. Beatin' the Nods
3. White Mountain Magic
4. Trial by Stone
5. Sick as they Come
6. Rock 'n' Roll Relapse
7. Speedbeater

Reviewed by on January 2, 2013

"I predict good things for this posse of rock miscreants on the horizon, since they write good songs and have a reputation that precedes them."

I first was intrigued by these cats when I thought about attending a Doom In June show. Their live uploads were catchy and had enough groove to shine through the usual abysmal live sound quality, although the guy filming them must have been wasted. Then again, everyone at a Meth Leppard show is usually three sheets to the wind - for that is the band's credo. Apart from their funny tales of dereliction and humorous name, though, these guys are good musicians with the prowess to write decent songs that are varied and interesting. Their debut has been out for a while, building them a core base of fans to go with their endless live gigs, where they up the bar in terms of crazy antics.

With the exception of "Lay Down and Die" (a song that they wrote about Whitney Houston) and the group's personal anthem "Get High," the San Luis Obispo combo has put most of their signature tracks onto this debut, self-titled album. The songs are re-recorded from older MySpace versions, vocalist Willy Carver imploring that these newer disc versions were total thrasher overload. It turns out Willy wasn't too far off the mark. Meth Leppard's pool of musicians hail from every influence of underground metal and hardcore that there is, and yet manage to put it all together in such a way that screams good time rock and roll. You could segue these guys between Thin Lizzy and Angel Witch and it would make perfect sense.

"Hit the Pipe," a southern-styled jam about the band's favorite daily activity, had me thinking - who is it that the singer sounds like? Then it came to me that he has a striking aural resemblance to Danny Joe Brown of Molly Hatchet fame. Of course, the irony was not lost on me that the next song is titled "Beatin' the Nods." That latter tracks shifts gears from straight up thrashing to really capable blues rock. It is in this tune and a couple of others that you can really hear the three-guitar interplay. When one lead dissolves, another axe attack comes in. Meth Leppard has three guitarists because two just isn't enough.

"White Mountain Magic" displays how versatile this band is. The Motorhead-influenced riffs give way at the midpoint to a drum sequence that brings Diamond Head to mind. "Rock 'n' Roll Relapse" is a catchy 70's-sounding party staple that builds into a nice, slow and warped lead-off with spacy riffs. These road dogs live the life and bring you back to a time when rock was all about debauchery and hedonism, and have the musical chops to back it up as well. Meth Leppard has as many beards in the band as ZZ Top, and rides dirtier than Iggy Pop.

The fuzzed-out strains of "Sick as they Come" incorporate slower and sludgier breakdowns, while the cool bass groove of "Trial by Stone" winds you back into southern turf. "Speedbeater" has an interlude that is most definitely influenced by vintage Iron Maiden as well.

If Meth Leppard had the wherewithal for better production, this CD would have truly been stellar. Many elements get buried in the mix from time to time, such as the vocals. Aside from that, Meth Leppard is at a great juncture. I predict good things for this posse of rock miscreants on the horizon, since they write good songs and have a reputation that precedes them.

Highs: Humor and good songwriting from a band that blends many underground styles into solid rock

Lows: A good producer and a pristine mix could put them over the top

Bottom line: Good time rock and roll that knows when to change it up and stay catchy

Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls
3.5 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)