Saturday means it’s time for something other than work… but specifically it’s time to revisit an album that slipped under our radar (in review format). Curtis was on to something including them in his Best of 2015 list. In August of last year Stereo Nasty released their hard driving, 80’s metal debut Nasty By Nature. It has NWOBHM elements as well as traditional metal all while wearing their influences on their sleeve — or battle jackets emblazoned with patches. However, in this case it’s not a bad thing as the band obviously had one hell of a good time with it that translates extremely well to the listener.
It was because of #metalbandcampgiftclub that I was gifted this album and ever since it has steadily climbed to the top of my listening ritual. The album cover is a glaring case for giving away the contents found within, the leather clad girl holding a knife and neon pink writing, but it’s all warranted. A minute or so into the hard charging riffs and somewhat clean vocals of “Black Widow” it was 1980 and change all over again and somewhere right in between WASP, Witchfynde and Accept. Not bad company at all but man does this band deliver. The hooks are tremendously catchy in “Out of the Fire” and the riffs flow like hot lava. Careful here because this track is a major earworm that will have you singing it in your head for days afterwards.
The other thing about this album is that it reminds me so much of the utterly fantastic job that Fastway did with the Trick or Treat soundtrack and more recently the obnoxiously fun Deathgasm soundtrack. There’s plenty of moments here that remind me of the hilltop scene in which the main character has the girl, is shirtless, and ripping a guitar solo. It just has that film type flow and the lyrics definitely take a heavy nod in that direction as well. So Deathgasm 2, if you’re out there, this album has some songs for you.
The fastest of the bunch, “Death Machine,” chugs like Judas Priest with some extra muscle under the hood due to Mick Mahon’s deeper growls in lieu of the clean work elsewhere. “The Warrior” treads closely to Dokken with the Lynchesque guitar work and hair metal feel. The variances in influence and delivery are a huge success throughout and keeps this album steadily delivering the hits, so to speak. Spin after spin it never fails to bring a smile and not once does it get tiring or stale.
In a burgeoning sea of throwback bands — some good, some not so much — Stereo Nasty absolutely kick out the jams on Nasty By Nature. It’s an open love letter to the glory days of metal. The high flying solos and classic style verse structuring just never gets old and this Irish bunch make it sound effortless.