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Gama Bomb may not be the most original of bands. They play a style that has been around for a long time, and they certainly don’t really push any boundaries. They’re happy playing a simple old style that works for them. And yet they do it so well on Citizen Brain that it ends up sounding like a revolutionary thrash album. Their slogan is, “Faster is gooder.” After the first few seconds of the album, it’s clear they’re not joking around.
Gama Bomb is often labeled as a crossover band, but I think that’s an unfair label, as they are primarily thrash metal. The aggressive riffs, the frantic drumming, the wild solos, the spastic wailing vocals… all thrash. They do however have the overall attitude of an old school hardcore punk band. Still though, it’s clear that this album was aimed at the classic thrash audience. These guys play an old school style of “party thrash” as I call it. It makes you want to crack open a brew and piss off the neighbors. Within the spectrum of thrash, I consider this to be the opposite of the “dark thrash” albums that have a more evil and demonic sound.
Nearly all the songs on the album are under three minutes, yet they manage to squeeze so many riffs and solos into them. Occasionally the singer will part from his traditional thrash voice and show us a high pitched power metal scream. This makes them stand out from most other thrash metal bands in the vocal department. The backup vocals are probably the part that will appeal most to punk or crossover fans. They occasionally top off the measure with a few vicious syllables, just as an extra statement of aggression.
I must also mention that the production is flawless. Had this album been a raw and sloppy affair, it would lose a ton of appeal. Not only can all the instruments be heard clearly, but the instrumentation is extremely impressive. These guys know how to play.
Judging by the style of music they play, you can pretty much assume that they have goofy lyrics. And they most certainly do. Most of their lyrics revolve around beer, zombies, thrash, classic video games, and cheesy 1980s action movies. Sure, they don’t have anything enlightening to say, but I think lyrics like theirs actually fit well with the music. If they wrote lyrics about the nature of reality and sang them over this kind of music, something just wouldn’t feel right. I usually don’t care much about lyrical content, but when I hear the words, “Back in the day when the beer fueled thrash, the tempo of the metal was HIGH!!” I can’t help but sing along. It makes me happy to hear them speaking of their dedication to all that is fast. It’s a fun subject to sing about, especially with this type of music playing. They go hand in hand.
It’s safe to say that if you’re not already a fan of frantic old school thrash with a bit of a punk vibe, Gama Bomb is not likely to win you over. But if you live for this style, then they’ll probably blow you away. There is so much raw attitude on this album. It will surely satisfy even the biggest appetites for mean riffs and fast tempos.