Superchrist: Holy Shit

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Superchrist: Holy Shit
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Superchrist: Holy Shit
Heavy Metal, Rock ‘n Roll
Hells Headbangers
May 22nd, 2012
Release length: 29:58
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Superchrist formed back in 1998, but chances are good you’ve never heard of them before. This old school Heavy Metal/Rock n’ Roll act hails from Chicago, Illinois, and originally went under the name Julie Was Right. Since their 2002 debut Dark & Dirty, they have issued a total of five albums, and a slew of various other releases, much of which has been self-released. That all changed in 2012 when Hells Headbangers picked up their latest album, Holy Shit. While still underground, this label opens the group up to a little more distribution than before. So, do they use this to their advantage, or does Holy Shit far from the enthusiastic exclamation the term is often associated with?

There’s definitely a rawer tone to the album that throws back to the early eighties, but things are still surprisingly crisp. The guitars have a heavy buzzing distortion to them that is pretty loud, and the bass is rather rich, carrying a deeper tone that really helps to establish the infectious rhythms throughout. The snares are nice and tight, the bass kick has a nice thud to it that sounds more laid back than driving through the mix, and the cymbals are pristine as well, though can be a bit in the background at times, while some are right at the forefront of the recording to present a distinct sound. Then there’s the unique vocals, a relaxed mixture of rougher and cleaner singing with a bit of an echo over it.

There’s plenty of memorable tracks to find amongst the fun, energetic, and easy to get into recordings. “Run to the Night” welcomes you right away with a slight Speed Metal push similar to early Motorhead, a reference you can easily make to many tracks throughout. The galloping pace of the main verses, and wooden sound from the drum kit during the bridges really grab you, and the softer clean singing makes a nice contrast to the heavier music beind played. However, the chorus picks things up a little more by eliminating the gallop with held chords that offer a bit more melody and faster double bass kicks. The section is short, but thanks to the enthusiasm and passion captured, this will stand out as one of the most engaging tracks of the album. Then there’s “Hot Tonight,” a much faster performance all around with heavier riffs that even sound a little deeper. While the main verses are a little more on the aggressive side, the chorus shows a little extra range in the vocals, and takes on more of an anthemic atmosphere that will have you wanting to join in with the singing, or the sections that come off more like chanting.

“Beer Metal” may have you thinking you heard the music already on the album, but this is infact a different song that is unique enough to dismiss the prejudice you may have towards it at the start. The lyrical content of two things that go great together ends up a headbanger’s party anthem, right down with a fun atmosphere that kick you square in the ass with a heavy sound, but a faster pace with infectious drumming that stands out while pushing the rhythm forward superbly. It also features one of the longer, and better guitar solos of the album, perfectly suiting for the energetic less-than-four-minute romp. The higher pitched vocals towards the end are a nice touch to the climax, solidifying that this is meant to be fun, and is played off as the closing track to a set a live show thanks to the fast to slow performance transition that ends with a bit of a boom. But, while these faster tracks make up nearly the entire album, there are times where things settle down for a bit.

“Black Thunder” moves at a slower pace, giving it more of an epic Manowar-ish tone, but still retaining a dirtier traditional Heavy Metal performance that will have you standing at the edge of a cliff with your guitar, hoping lightning strikes in the distance. At least, you will mentally if a mountainous cliff is not so nearby for you. The chords offer a little more complexity to the chorus, but the main riffs are simply infectious with some upbeat material complimented nicely by the cleaner singing. “Get Lost” cannot be ignored either. The cymbals at the forefront during the chorus stand out quite well, and are one of the more unique elements you’ll find on the recording, but the main verses have a good deal of Hard Rock enthusiasm to the mid-pace performance, and the chorus finds those cymbals working well with some really catchy guitar hooks. Another great guitar solo can be found here as well, and the slow build from a slight echo and subtle backing from the other instruments closes nicely with a richer performance all around that transitions right back into the main riffs.

Holy Shit has a fantastic mixture of material for what amounts to a just under thirty minute love song of vintage Metal and Rock. Fun, heavy, and even laid back, Superchrist prove that they may not be that unique a group, but even their inspirations, such as the aforementioned Motorhead, would raise a shot glass to honor this album. Whether you’re looking to just brighten your mood after a rough day, use it as a soundtrack to a party, or want something to give you a serious case of lead foot in your car, this is a recording you can immediately turn to without regrets. Holy Shit by Superchrist is easily one of the most impressive albums of 2012, if not the best album of the year, earning every ounce of respect and loyalty they obtain from their new found fans with the greatest of ease.

01. Run to the Night – 3:12
02. Take Me to the Graveyard – 3:08
03. Hot Tonight – 2:21
04. Get Lost – 2:27
05. Burn Again – 2:39
06. Black Thunder – 3:47
07. PAMF – 1:05
08. Don’t Wanna Know – 3:08
09. Sewer Snake – 4:30
10. Beer Metal – 3:41
Overall Score: 10/10
Superchrist (band)
Superchrist
Digital review copy of this release provided by Hells Headbangers.