Review Summary: The glam metal genre has never looked so good. Well, It's never looked that good. But this is a pretty righteous album nevertheless.
Times are changing. No more is it an easy feat to set a trend and a precedent for future bands. I would go as far to say that most bands these days are perfectly content with a satisfactory album that doesn’t stray far from the typical musical recipe of their respective genre. If they can successfully do this, then congratulations to them, for they have temporarily appeased their fan base just enough to buy them time to record and release a follow-up for the exact same purpose. Is Blessed By A Broken Heart’s Pedal to the Metal just another one of these albums? They’re certainly not salvaging a genre here; well, not with their music at least. They do have some pretty kickass clothing styles though. Any band that has a photo shoot that looks like something straight out of flash dance is A-OK in my books.
Blessed by a Broken Heart is Tony Gambino (Vocals), Shred Sean and Robbie Hart (Guitars), Tyler Hoare (Bass), Simon Foxx (Synthesizer), and Frank “Da Bird” (lolz…oh, drums). And with their instruments, they create a listening experience that couldn’t necessarily be defined as groundbreaking by any means; however, the sole fact that this album has 10+ plays on my itunes must mean that they’re doing something that keeps me hooked. Regardless of whether or not you think the fact that they wear tight spandex in their band pictures is “hip”, I don’t think anyone can argue against the idea that it is definitely an attention grabber.
The first song I like to listen to is what I refer to as their “sampler song”, called, “Blood On Your Hands”. The reason I call it this is because it does a pretty decent job of showing you what BBABH has to offer, but not to the degree that some of their other songs demonstrate. I will say that my favorite part of this song is toward the end when Gambino repeatedly screams, “can’t get that blood off your hands”, laid over some pretty nice double bass coupled with a fairly ace guitar riff.
I’m going to try to avoid the song-by-song review style, but the next song I feel deserves its own paragraph. “Carry On” is perhaps my favorite song on this album, and for good reason. You like some crunchy riffing? This song opens up with an intense riff followed by Gambino’s brutal screaming. Even the most popcore kids are inclined to stand up and start swinging their fists at this point, that is until they break mother’s favorite living room lamp with their signature hxc roundhouse kick.
One of the most prominent aspects of this album is the guitar work. BBABH does an amazing job of distinguishing themselves from the rest of the metal genre by adding a nostalgic twist of the ‘80’s in each saucy riff. As I mentioned before, “Carry On” contains quite a few brutal riffs. Another honorable mention with impressive guitar (coincidentally also the song that most captures the hair metal influence they try to intertwine into each song) is “Show Me What You Got”. With Foxx jamming and programming away on the synth and Shred Sean, well, shredding, this is one of the pinnacles off the album. Caution: this song may feather hair. Anybody who appreciates some nice harmonies and adequately technical guitar will appreciate this portion of the album.
I could talk endlessly of the positives of this album, but that would be misleading. There are plenty of flaws scattered throughout this album and, while they’re all very minor, they are worthy of mention. First things first, if you’re looking for a slower song, the closest you will get is a tedious, arena-rock number, “Young”, that I generally skip over. Not bad, just a bit of a bore compared to the others. Also, if you only enjoy music with deep and heartfelt lyricism, you may want to consider looking elsewhere; Aside from the vague Christian references thrown in all over, I would not be surprised if I were watching “Buns of Steel II” and these guys were on the soundtrack.
Are they treading musically unknown territory with this album? Not by any means. Be warned: you will hear nothing on this album that has never been done before. With that said, I recommend this album to anybody who has an extra 55 minutes on their hands and an open mind. Enjoyable? Absolutely. I had this disc on my car rotation for a few weeks and here’s a fun fact; every time “Pedal to the Metal” would begin playing, my passengers never fail to ask within the first thirty seconds, “hey man, who is this? They shred” or something less cheesy of the sort. What an ace name for a car album as well. Radical.
Show Me What You Got
Side by Side