On Top - Top to Bottom
Horror Pain Gore Death Productions
Heavy Metal/Rock
4 songs ()
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Alex

Philadelphia’s rock troupe On Top seemed to have changed their guitarist (Brian Davis assumed the duties from Alex Kulick), but they did not change their sex-in-your-face attitude (just see the moniker, song titles or cover) or their straightforward approach to writing heavy metal music.

What Top to Bottom had going for it, from my standpoint, is the fact I could not figure out what to say about the EP after a first few listens. So, it made me listen to it some more. From there, I still did not come to fall in love with this roughhewn piece of rock/metal, but at least the words for a review fell into place.

While Top to Bottom emanates do-it-yourself attitude and garage roughness, it is not entirely devoid of musical qualities. Here and there interspersed NWOBHM leads tell me that guitar lessons were taken. The songwriting, heavily criticized in the past, has been pushed to proceed beyond simplicity and monotony. In and of itself a commendable effort, the drive to diversify now led for Top to Bottom to become mighty tough to categorize. The foundation definitely remains some prototypical heavy metal with choppy syncopated chorded riffs (Don’t Go), but Cold and Blue shows off newfound active bass and bluesy solo, hinting of stoner rock creeping into On Top psyche. The vocals though are unfathomable modern style yelps and barks, and when they are coupled with picked distorted strings of the semi-balladic Bad Love, until it wants to go in the steady double bass direction, it brought out the worst possible modern radio-friendly rock influences. On Top either have to look for somebody who can sing worth a lick, ‘cause Jaron Gulino better stick with bass, since he does that pretty well, or the dreams of becoming rock stars won’t be realized. Unless it is some pop radio station they want to climb onto, and be claimed there as “old school metal/rock revivalists”.

The energy is here, catchiness in simple melodies can be found (No Shame, Cold and Blue), but the overall product still remains rough around the edges, and core-like screams of “she is too young for me” on Bad Love don’t help to complete the picture.

Killing Songs :
No Shame, Cold and Blue are better
Alex quoted 60 / 100
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