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In this day and age where being really innovative in terms of music has become really difficult, one method taken by bands to catch the attention of music-lovers is in the packaging of their releases, and Slam One Down certainly takes the cake for this. Along with the music CD for their debut full length album Who Really Wants to Live Forever, the band has included things such as bracelets, stickers and even flavoured condoms in the package, and this easily takes the cake in being one of the most exciting releases that I have received to date. But packaging aside, will the music of Who Really Wants to Live Forever be able to match up with the effort that the band has put into the aesthetics?
The band’s fun-loving attitude is immediately presented to the listener with the opening track The Acoustic Beer Run, an acoustic with tribal drums beneath chants of “B, double E, double R-U-N” and one immediately has some clue to what the band has put in place in the upcoming music. Yet the band suddenly turns all serious with What I’ve Done, and the band proves that despite the fun-infused image that has been presented so far, they are capable of putting out some quality thrash/groove metal. The riffs that are on the record are often crushing, and along with the screaming vocals of Bobby, one is easily reminded of bands such as Exodus with Rob Dukes, with the musical style being rather similar, though as the album progresses it would be obvious that the band has included some elements of metalcore into their music as well. This especially so with the numerous breakdown segments that are on the album like on Music, Money and Girls, and these are some of the small peeves, though with the overall high quality thrash, the band more than makes up for that.
The album is not without variation also. Living up to their name, Slam One Down‘s epitome of fun on the record is on Beer Run, the full-on electric version of the opener The Acoustic Beer Run, and the martial style of chanting and percussions remind listeners how seriously Slam One Down take their beer and their fun. Furthermore, songs like Pour One Out are also catchy as hell, complete with anthemic choruses that would easily have the listener headbanging/singing along with the band, and Music, Money and Girls reminds one of the reasons so many bands have gotten into the music industry. There is even the ballad-y moment on the intro of Cut Me Down (Psycho Party) and Hell Doesn’t Want Me, displaying the more melodic and hard rock side of the band, along with the singing abilities of vocalist Bobby.
To be honest, if not for the songs about beer and the band’s moniker, one would easily classify Slam One Down‘s Who Really Wants to Live Forever along with some of the angriest recent thrash metal releases. But with the combination of moments of seriousness and fun, the band has reminded the listener that one doesn’t always have to be overly angry and serious to create good music.