Overcharge - Accelerate
Unspeakable Axe Records
Punk / Speed Metal
10 songs (29' 29")
Release year: 2014
Reviewed by Andy

After an EP in 2013, recent Italian speed metal/punk group Overcharge has returned with an LP containing all of the EP songs and plenty more. Not that that translates to more than about half an hour of music, since like their influences, the band likes their songs short and not very sweet. Fans of old punk-influenced metal -- especially Motorhead -- will recognize fellow devotees.

The sheer enthusiasm contained in the songs is palpable; to this band, it's like the punk era just ended and a whole new horizon has opened up in metal. Accelerate's whining lead guitar plays over the top with a sleazy sound that makes the song more complex, but the real driving force comes from guitarist Josh's primitive rhythm riffs and a relentless beat on pretty much every song that owes more to punk than metal. Fabietto's voice pretty much nails Lemmy's hoarse growl, and despite the danger of the band sounding like a Motorhead clone, the energy put into the performance by all three members is enough to make this quite forgivable. It also helps that the band's songwriting formula of repeating verse riffs followed by a trailing melodic chord is infectious; the low-end guitar effects such as the guitar string scrape on Dirt also lend to the exuberant fun of the track.

Despite the early-punk feel of the songs, the production is good; Drown in Your Own (I expected the unsaid last word of the title to be "Vomit" a la Led Zeppelin and Spinal Tap, but the band refuses to be that silly, so it's "Shit") and Nothing on the Way are fast, rough songs, but the drums sound good and one can always hear the leads clearly. Really, the huskiness of Fabietto's voice makes it the least bold and defined sound on the album, which isn't saying much since the lyrics are always clear. Leave Behind switches to a slow, swinging beat at the end of the song, with more of a metal sound, and though some punk shortcomings hamstring the album a little (Nowhere to Go and Water of Fire sound almost exactly the same riff-wise, for example, though Water of Fire has a better melody), overall they do a pretty good job of balancing the simple blasts of rage in punk and the darker, heavier complexity of speed metal. Witness No Law, with an intro and verse riff that would fit in on any speed metal debut after 1984, but with a following chorus that is simple and shoutable.

Overcharge hasn't produced anything pioneering here, but they do it well and enthusiastically, paying tribute to their heroes with songs that are pretty good in their own right. If one is a Motorhead fan, as mentioned, this is definitely worth a listen or two.

Killing Songs :
Dirt, Water of Fire, No Law
Andy quoted 79 / 100
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