The Migraines proudly proclaim on their website (www.themigraines.com) that they are celebrating a decade of "auditory nerve damage," and what better way to celebrate than by releasing Endangered Species, a new CD of 14 original songs? In true punk form the songs come at you like cannon balls from a machine gun, bowling you over with their force and fury, catching your ear and twisting you around like a rag doll. Even the breaks between the songs are mega-brief so that you are forced to succumb to their breathless onslaught. The music has a very strong 80s vibe with a bit of metal thrown in. As the members of the band have converted to Christianity I can't help but hear the influence of the founding Christian punk band, Undercover, in their music in addition to flashes of inspiration from the "heavenly metal" bands also popular during that era. This is paired with the pop flavorings of classic punk and modern production (compliments of T Bush Studios) to make an album with the crushing energy of a runaway semi full of canned meat.
There isn't a single track that can't be described as fast. From the frantic "Broken Record" to the tumultuous "Thanx," each song scrambles to finish as soon as possible. Far from an exercise in speed, the musicianship developed by a decade of constant touring all over these here United States of America clearly shows through. Whether it's the super-fast riffing of Shawn Browning (a.k.a. Eddie Migraine) that smashes into your head and ricochets like a bullet on "180 Degrees," the pounding, trashy drums of Jeff Hedrick on "Under The Influence" or Craig Weitz thumping away at his bass on the Motorhead tribute "Kiss of the Vampire," it's evident that the punk ethos of sloppy playing does not apply here. As an added bonus, Robert Sweet of the legendary Stryper was brought in to play drums and sing backing vocals on "I Hate Evil," a monster track that has found its way onto the next Essentials CD. Lyrically, the band sticks to their humorous roots, albeit with a firm emphasis on their faith in a style similar to Undercover, proclaiming the truth in words as unmistakable as their guitars are distorted.
Whether you follow their God or one referred to in "The gods Are Dying," be sure to catch these veteran performers on December 4 at Columbia Street West for their CD release party. The Migraines are seasoned professionals who know that you are there for the music and not a sermon with altar call, so be prepared to leave with your ears ringing, jaw dropped and a fresh copy of Endangered Species in your hands.
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