The New Czars

Doomsday Revolution

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It isn't uncommon for grungy, sludgy alternative rock bands to be influenced by different rock eras; knowledgeable grunge and post-grunge artists who emerged in the ‘90s or 2000s will be the first to tell you that rock didn't begin with the hugely influential Kurt Cobain any more than it ended with the hugely influential Kurt Cobain. Bands that claim Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Creed, Bush, or Alice in Chains as influences are also likely to claim Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Deep Purple, or Black Sabbath as influences. But it isn't terribly common for a post-grunge type of band to be as overtly influenced by progressive rock as the New Czars are on their absorbing debut album, Doomsday Revolution. This is a very grungy, sludgy effort; downtuned guitars reign supreme, and lead singer/guitarist/producer Greg Hampton (the New Czars' founder) clearly gets a lot of direct or indirect inspiration from alterna-rock icons like the Foo Fighters, Nirvana, and Soundgarden. But for all their grunginess, the New Czars also wear their love of ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s rock on their sleeves -- not only the hard rock, heavy metal, and arena rock of those decades, but also the old-school progressive rock that continues to be heard on classic rock stations. King Crimson is probably the New Czars' most obvious prog influence -- which makes sense considering that Adrian Belew of Crimson fame appears as a guest -- although elements of Pink Floyd and Rush assert themselves as well. And the nice thing about Doomsday Revolution is the fact that the New Czars never sound like they're trying too hard. Doomsday Revolution always sounds natural rather than forced or contrived; the Crimson, Floyd, and Rush elements are right at home with all that downtuned post-‘80s grunginess, and what might have been problematic for some bands works well for the New Czars. Celebrating both alternative rock and classic rock yields consistently appealing results on Doomsday Revolution.

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