Blanco Diablo

Paper Poison Revolution

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With their standard issue '90s grunge look and a sound that evokes visions of Mike Patton fronting a band comprised of former members of Soundgarden and Jackyl, this Charlotte-based trio, Blanco Diablo, certainly seems more than a little like a musical anachronism. Naming classic rock bands like Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin, and Black Sabbath among their primary influences. On Paper Poison Revolution, the band cranks the Marshall stacks to 11 right out of the gate, opening the album's lead track "Fix Me Again" with squalling guitar harmonics that give way to a monolithic riff that may leave you banging your head in spite of yourself. On tracks like "9 Lives," Blanco Diablo borders on becoming the Southern rock version of the Darkness -- you're not quite sure whether lines like "I been draggin' my heels with a bitch called hope/I been boiling my blood with a lie called love" are so bad they're good, or just, well, really bad. The fact is, when these guys aren't wearing their outdated influences on their sleeves or delivering laughable lyrics, they actually rock pretty hard, kicking out squealing guitar solos that'll make you think Guns N' Roses suddenly came back in fashion. Unfortunately, all too often you'll find yourself wishing they'd just shut up and play.

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