Hit And Run

Very Metal

Beer City Records, 2002

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Somewhere, Lee Ving is smiling. Punk is most definitely not dead; there's still plenty of it (meaning the non-commercialized stuff) out there, if you know where to find it. The true hard-core punks know what I'm talking about: one- to two-minute blasts of anger and adrenalin that puts a smile on your face and makes you want to beat the shit out of someone at the same time.

Enter St. Louis-based Very Metal and their latest disc Hit And Run. Think about it: Fourteen songs, 23 minutes. It's almost enough to make you start sweating before you put the CD in the player. Think about it: Motorhead played at 78 rpm - boy, my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 there's a flashback for some of you.

Very Metal take the anger of late, lamented groups like Black Flag and Fear and boil things down even further to their base elements. The end result is raw, powerful, a little unsettling at times, but still well worth your time and money.

The group - vocalist Pat Munster, guitarist Pat McCauley, bassist Chris Walker and drummer Barry Peraino - have a tightness to their sound that only comes from years of slugging it out on the scene and in the clubs. The hard work pays off for them, as Hit And Run is an incredibly tight CD, making sure the messages in the songs are delivered in just the right amount of notes and beats, with none wasted.

And, truth be told, it's a pretty interesting ride. Tracks like "Jealousy," "Sicko Creep," "Cheap Shot" and "Lie, Cheat, Steal" all scream out the punk credo in songs that even the newcomer to the world of punk music can appreciate. It almost makes one think that the guys in Very Metal would kick the collective asses of Green Day and Blink-182 without breaking a sweat.

Hit And Run is unsettling at first possibly because the listener might read too much into the band's name (meaning they didn't grow up watching "The Young Ones"), and will be momentarily disappointed to discover that Very Metal is not metal at all. Admittedly, it also takes a few listens for one to adjust to the adrenalin rush you get from one song, only to have it end and another track start. Long-time punk fans, of course, will eat this up.

But where Hit And Run can be enjoyed on one listen, it can only be appreciated on several listens. The more I listen to this disc, the more I find in it that I like. Sure, at 23 minutes, repeat listens are about as easy as watching "The Simpsons" - and, to draw out that comparison, with each new sitting, you're bound to discover something you didn't catch before.

Very Metal will probably never become as big as Britney Spears, but Hit And Run proves there's talent to spare in this band, and they should be warmly embraced by fans of punk rock - or simply by anyone who wants a change of pace and isn't afraid of something a little aggressive.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2002 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Beer City Records, and is used for informational purposes only.