By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Twin gnashing guitars are deployed on "Here Ta Rock," and "Slow Down" is just the thing that shows off subliminal Led Zep "Rock and Roll" chops. If you're in the know you'll believe Heather must have heard of Riot. Riot, once upon a time, were from Brooklyn and wound up big in Texas and Japan. I said Texas, men: It's the place you ought to be so you'll load up the truck and move to Bis-a-bee, or San Antone, swimming pools, old raunch and rollers, Texas weed, and those who get happy over Dirty Tricks reissues, like me. It's always going to be pearls before swine in the boroughs, fellows. But Ted Nugent would invite Heather to his woodland home for a biltong-and-barbecue dinner if he heard this CD, and that's real good.
In another philosophically odd place are Brooklyn's Early Man. Being advertised as a classic heavy metal bandon Matadorarouses suspicions of the hard-rock-for-people-who-don't-like-hard-rock trick: metal for snobs, sophisticates, and lovers of new age sound tapestries. Not the same as a humiliating and coarse love of Def Leppard. But, lo, Early Man aren't jokers unless they're great shammers. In sound if not category, they're a second- or third-tier New Wave of British Heavy Metal group, imitating bigger-selling betters. In 1984, the duo would have been Cloven Hoof or Witchfinder General. "Death Is the Answer" mimics Sabbath, with grinding brio and excellence, an eerie reverse effect on the vocal lending more vintage Ozzy-ness. The best tune on Closing In is "Thrill of the Kill," propelled by a killing shuffle, so you can dance to the sentiments of a schizophrenic killer, an always reliable purist-metal theme. Complete with their own stencil, the Early Men are not girlie men and perfectly prepared for gigs at Wembley.
Early Man play the Bowery Ballroom December 3; Heather play Northsix December 9.