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Album Review

PEACEMAKER
Reconstruction of the
Ossicular Chain

If these guys didn't have a shitload of talent and a thousand ways to twist a hook, it would be the Ossicular Chainsaw, but thank the gods that there are still bands out there who have vocalists who don't sound like amplified sandpaper and guitarists who can actually play (and tune!) guitar. Austin Shelton and Chad Windham don't and can and when the twin engines of Raymond Kidd (bass) and Bryan Lawson (drums) kick in, Peacemaker has solid backbeat and reason to live. That Maxell guy? He had to have been listening to Peacemaker when they took his picture. What did that kid say at the last hard rock concert I went to in the mid-70s? Something like “these guyz rawk!” Of course, I couldn't hear him for all the blood rushing from my ears, but I could read lips.

The band I saw back then was Stray and they were amazing except for the fact that the vocalist evidently couldn't hear himself and kept pointing toward the lights in an effort to get the sound man to turn it up, and that bastard did. By the end of the set, there were maybe ten of us left in the room, five of us because the music had us pinned against our seats and we couldn't move. (Ed. Note: It turned out that the vocalist had wanted the monitors turned up, so we took the sound man out back and beat the crap out of him).

My point? Yes, the point. The point is that to me the vast majority of hard rock bands from that point on seemed to correlate volume with intensity. Some bands made noise their stage presence, for Crissake, and I stopped going to hard rock concerts. I figured if I wanted intense pain, I'd set up a date with Lulu down the street. At least that pain was fun!

But, wait! The point. A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon hard rockers of a different sort. Boston's Era For a Moment caught my ear and ripped it to shreds with a semi-controlled wall of sound, guitars that rang loud and clear and a femme vox from another dimension. I thought, huh, an anomaly.

Not at all. A few weeks later, Peacemaker chainsawed their way into my living room like rockers from another universe. Savage, powerful and sometimes downright nasty, they also played with pinpoint precision and a sense of purpose beyond turning brain matter to pudding. As hard and forceful as they were, they were masterful as well. Uh, are masterful, I should say, because they are hardly a band from the past. In fact, they are a band of the future, but only because even the most avid hard rock fans have yet to discover them. Have no fear. That is being taken care of as I type.

I wrote of Era For a Moment in a recent review that the truly great bands do not have to play anything new because when they play, they are so good that it just doesn't matter. Ditto Peacemaker. Amphetamine-laced guitar riffs over pounding rhythm is nothing new, but when they do it, it doesn't even matter. Be it precision meat-grinding, sonic chaos, shredding or soaring metal blues, they nail it and nail it shut.

Let's see. Ah, yes. The point. Through the rest of this summer, Peacemaker is handing you, the public, four of those meat-grinding tracks FREE! And they make it easy. Just log on to their MySpace page, scroll down to where it screams free downloads, and click on the how to download instructions (they include this for us computer-illiterates who know little beyond what browser we use to access this madness). Pick the type of download you want (oh, no... decisions!) and download away. Of course, you can simply listen to the tracks on their MySpace player to see if you even want to, but if you're into crunching, blazing guitar with explosive backbeat, you will.

Hey, I had no idea I'd be back in the hard rock section, either. I didn't think my heart could take it anymore. But Peacemaker (and Era For a Moment) give me hope. I think Larry Norman said it best when he said in Why Should the Devil Have All the Best Music, “I ain't dead yet!” Peacemaker may have to become pacemaker to keep me going, but I ain't dead yet either. And I'm diggin' these guys until I am.

Frank O. Gutch Jr.

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