Sex Machineguns


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Many J-rock bands have the skill of morphing their musical influences beyond recognition, but for every group like that there's one that goes straight where others dared to tread and makes no fuss about it. Case in point: Sex Machineguns, whose Kyameron is a faithful re-creation of '80s thrash, with a dose of primeval German power metal included as well. Not that early Helloween or early Grave Digger were that far from thrash themselves, and anyway, their input is limited to the occasional falsetto shriek, a few guitar solos, and the general melodic vibe to the riffs. On the whole, Kyameron could melt the heart of any Annihilator fan: the riffs are acidic and rumbling, the vocals a confident hoarse shout (imagine Bon Scott as a very big predator), and the tempo is aimed to get the adrenaline pumping. Every note of this has been done to death long before 2008, and so to enjoy this album one needs to either be in a very postmodern mood or have the retro gland in the brain activated at all times; however, if the condition is met, Kyameron is quite an enjoyable record. It's only rarely cringe-inducing, usually when the band tries something different, like that falsetto, a thuggish gang chorus, or an X-Japan-styled ballad (the intro to "Hitoduma Killer"). But the kitschier tendencies of yesteryear make no headway on the album, because for the most part Sex Machineguns simply want to rock out hard, and they show a good instinct for that. Kyameron has no high-profile metal hits, but every riff sounds inspired and precise, and the speed always stays on the right side between fast and hysterical; besides, the band knows where to give in to modernization, and so the production is thick and crunchy -- no reedy buzz that plagued so many albums back in 1988. Nu metal may have redefined heavy music, but Sex Machineguns prove that the old school's still got some guts, too.

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