Leave Them All Behind

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Puffball is the latest Swedish rock squad to benefit from the partnership between Burning Heart and Epitaph. With its fourth full-length, Leave Them All Behind, Puffball hopes to turf the lawn of America with its top-fuel Motörhead-sponsored funny car. Indeed, the album is a quarter mile of nitro-burning metal overdrive, with Lemmy Kilmister as a spiritual pit crew chief. Vocalist/guitarist Tossa's gruff lyrics don't say as much as the staccato song titles -- "Apocalypse Whenever," "Benderbound," "No Regrets," and "Megaton Shakedown" -- and P-O (guitar), Linkan (bass), and Forsberg (drums) aren't as concerned with dynamics or discernible hooks as they are with keeping the hammer down. As a result, Leave Them All Behind is heavy, one-dimensional, and built only for speed -- much like the dragster laying rubber on the album's cover. "Taillights Disappear" and especially "This Is Truly War" are thrilling, nail-spitting shots of double-time rock fury, but they're also almost interchangeable with the rest of the tracks. "Bad Man" is still faster than Don Garlits' Swamp Rat XXXX, but there's at least some finesse in its whining guitar solos and undeniable lead riff. "He's got his bed placed so he gets out on the wrong side," Tossa yells. "It's all about being mean, this man is doublewide." As he does throughout Leave Them All Behind, Linkan accompanies Tossa's bark with his higher vocals. The interplay doesn't lessen Puffball's fast-forwarded monolith, but it at least adds a bit of color to an album that's caked in engine solvent and grubby, greasy thumbprints. Sure to appeal to Motörhead aficionados, or anyone who believes New Wave of British Heavy Metal acts just weren't fast enough, Leave Them All Behind should be packaged with a bar of Lava soap.

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