Busted Knuckles - 2006 EP
Eargasm Studios
Modern Thrash Metal
3 songs (14:16)
Release year: 2007
Busted Knuckles, Eargasm Studios
Reviewed by Dylan
One of the better EPs that I have received lately, Busted Knuckles is a young band from the bay area that has made a solid first step in their thrashing career. Drawing from well-established influences as classic as Exodus, as relevant as Pantera, and as modern as Lamb of God. Although this particular disc only contained three songs, all of them were well written and show some potential for these young, aggressive thrashers.

Like many a metal track, Army Men begins with the muffled sounds of machine gun fire and looming helicopters. As soon as the marching snare beat and pulsing bass take over, the song gets its wheels turning until a very catchy, Dimebag-influenced riff takes over. In fact, these snakey Pantera-ish riffs and grooves make up a large portion of the musical foundation for Busted Knuckles. Even Dan Ingram’s guitar has that crunchy tone that the Pantera axe-man was famous for. Vocalist Matthew McCaan has a very throaty yell, sometimes injecting a bit of melody within his yells. Basically, he ends up sounding like a mix of Steve Souza and Rob Dukes, both of Exodus fame. After Army Men fades away in the same manner it begun, the most aggressive track of the EP, Revolution rears its speedy head. Full of triplet-laden riffs, and a killer groove in the chorus, this song is definitely a hit. Add in some very appropriate screams from McCaan and you have a winner for any fan of thrash. The final song on the EP, Walk on The Dead begins with a simple, but catchy riff that creates a headbanging heaven with the mid-paced tempo. This songs also sports a pentatonic solo from Ingram that won’t melt any faces by any means, but definitely fits within the context of the song itself.

The production is also quite good for a first effort. The bass and drums both have a lot of presence, but could use a little bit of tweaking in order to get a clearer, brighter sound. The vocals were mixed quite well, and the guitars really only need a slight increase in volume and clarity. Overall, this was a very enjoyable EP. Time will tell how well these guys can construct a full-fledged album, but they definitely have a hold on how to create short, simple, aggressive metal songs that vary enough from each other to keep things interesting. Fans of Pantera should definitely check this band out, and fans of thrash in general should at least give them a try.
Killing Songs :
Army Men, Revolution, Walk On The Dead
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