Friday, July 21, 2017 This Week's Paper

Review: Underride

// “Distorted Nation”

It’s official – even hard rockin’ metalheads can’t resist Lady Gaga’s musical spell. Case in point: the new CD “Distorted Nation” by Underride.

One of the best tracks on their majorly impressive new offering is a cover of Gaga’s huge hit “Paparazzi,” so well done that it sticks in your head as much as the original, but in a whole new way – the true hallmark of a well done cover. The tempo is speeded up, and El Barto burns on his bass while drummer Double A pounds out a beat that will certainly please the headbangers. Guitarists Princess and Suzuki Sixx lay on a double-rhythm axe attack that’s so thick and beefy you can almost feel it.

And then there’s lead singer Rev’s voice, the icing on the cake on this and every track on “Distorted Nation.” Rev’s snarling, soaring tenor seizes and holds the melodies of each song, leading the band in a hammering, full-frontal assault that’s hook-laden and with one foot in the world of pop.

The CD kicks off with “Another Way Out,” about breaking out of cages, whether self-made or imposed upon us. Rev sings the words clearly on this and every track so that listeners can understand what he’s saying and enjoy the songs to their fullest. The guitar solo is tasteful and talented. Trading off on guitar, Princess and Sixx are restrained in a way that does justice to their abilities as musicians.

There’s a blistering guitar solo on “Say Goodbye To Everything That’s Gone.” Rev sings from the gut. “Love Is Like Dying” slows things down a bit to show some heart. The band is tight.  

On “Porn Star,” Rev’s vocals are matched with a guitar playing notes in the right-side speaker. “Candy Girl” is another very strong track. It offers a different sound to Underride on this CD, more in the direction of Iggy Pop or New York Dolls. This one should be a serious candidate for a single release.

There’s so much more to say about this band. With so much going for them, one can only hope that Underride keeps on rockin’ in the free world for a very long time. Underride has garnered a strong following in the Pacific Northwest by word of mouth alone from their dynamic live shows and regional events, snatching airplay and concert promotion from Seattle's KISW 99.9 FM, and have begun to stab cities outward in the U.S. They've opened for the likes of many national acts, including Static X, Duff McKagan's Loaded, Trust Company, 30 Seconds to Mars, Saliva, Blackie Lawless, Divide the Day, and Jet Black Stare.

Underride plays often around their Pacific Northwest home. On March 25 they’ll be at Central Saloon in Seattle, and on April 8 they play 4th Avenue Tavern in Olympia. To learn more, visit