Hailing from Los Angeles, POUNDER boasts an all star line-up; Matt Harvey (EXHUMED, GRUESOME and EXPULSION), Alejandro Corredor (Nausea La, VALLENFYRE), and Tom Draper (Ex ANGEL WITCH, CARCASS and Crowing Glory) Together, this bolstered three-piece meld together not only a captivating, but a creative blend of 80s Thrash Metal if it were to take a stroll down the Sunset Strip. Bound with an aura of familiarity, yet enough amounts of distinctive uniqueness which will hook fans of all Metal genres, these guys are all about an up-in-your-face approach to their music, which is as larikal as it is brilliant.
Their upcoming album release, ‘Uncivilized’, is the perfect amalgamation of everything aforementioned about the band, and is one that ticks most boxes that Heavy Metal fans hold close to their hearts when it comes to music selection – powerful licks, musical synergy, and a set of vocals that rides every note with firm grasping.
The album opens with Fuck Off and Die, which is deceptive in name; you’d think something that boasts such a title would be fuelled by anger or hatred, but in actual fact it’s a Metal anthem that will entice your soul to have an outer-body experience. Packed with chugging guitars and base, driven by drum fills and harmonic vocal tie-ins, they’ve pulled no punches in wanting to kick off the album as brutally, and brilliantly, as possible.
The title track, Uncivilized, continues with the same pace and precision that Fuck Off and Die set prior. The instrumentals are prominent throughout, pumping out catchy riffs, intertwining themselves within Harvey’s superb vocal delivery. If you’re a fan of something a bit more fast-paced, then Red Hot Leather is definitely going to put a smile on your face (and by smile, I’m talking a f***ing Grinch sized, ear-to-ear smile!). This is a balls-to-the-wall rager, boasting the quickest tempo within the album, from the opening riff to the final note. This screams 80s Speed Metal, and is an instrumental showcase that is mind-blowingly brilliant!
As quick as they were to turn their dials to eleven, Long Time No Love dials everything right back – and if you thought slowing things down would ruin the album’s pace, you’re absolutely wrong! This performance allows the spotlight to not only highlight the earthy tones within Harvey’s vocals, but the solo from Draper is one of the most memorable moments of the album – you won’t be disappointed!
The pairing of We Want the Night, and The Mists of Time, return to a more familiar pace that the album had set precedent for – and does it in such a way to ensure that Long Time No Love doesn’t feel out of place. We Want the Night is the more formidable of the pairing, boasting an anthem that possibly has it throw its hand up as one of the best performances on the album.
Answer the Call returns to the more sombre side of POUNDER – again serving as opportunity for Harvey’s vocals to stand at the forefront whilst the instrumentals take a backseat – but in saying that, the instrumental performance is absolutely sensational. Do yourselves a favour when you listen to this track; turn it full volume, sit back, and close your eyes – if the vocals don’t take you to the astral plane, the guitar solo is bound to!
The album rounds out with The Evil One, living up to its title with a combination of brooding ambiance and breakneck speed. The bassline of this track is brilliant, and bassists don’t always get the recognition they deserve, so take a bow Corredor! This is definitely a fitting ending to an album that I won’t soon be forgetting (and am sure to play on a loop for a long time yet!)
‘Uncivilized’ is available for pre-order via POUNDER’s bandcamp, HERE!