Take in small doses and enjoy

Who would have though that a couple of old LA rockers would get together and write a metal record?

The Sunbomb project is sleaze rocker Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns) and Michael Sweet (Stryper) on guitar and vocals. Both coming from hard rock fame, the group have stated that this album is heavy metal, Tracii Guns goes so far as to say that this is what he would have loved to have made when he was 17.

Wasting no time in grabbing a listener’s attention, Life comes roaring through the speakers like some kind of long lost NWOBHM track in the vein of Judas Priest or Iron Maiden when Bruce Dickinson was out to prove himself. From here the album quickly traverses into Black Sabbath territory with Take Me Away, another side of this musical though project as it plods along in a doomy fashion first set up in 1969 by the godfathers of heavy metal.

The band continue this love affair with everything 70s and early 80s metal with the groovy No Tomorrows oozing an LA sleaze that both the figure heads of the band have plyed as their trade for so many years. All is smooth sailing as the album continues on its course, until, that is, the dreaded mid album ballad. Taking all the steam built up on what feels like an album long lost behind some mixing desk finally finding a release, Been Said And Done is almost five minutes that this album could have done without.

Luckily things pick back up from here, and Evil and Divine rattles and clanks towards its end in a similar fashion befitting its opening.

Just a few points need to be covered. Firstly, the woeful production. Unsure if it is a lack of modern production knowledge, or that the lads wanted to sound like it was recorded in the late 70s, but recording has come a long way from this dry and dull sound. The instruments sometimes meld together unimpressively with only the guitar solos pushed forward in the mix. Sure, this allows Sweet’s powerful vocals a healthy home to really shine, but who doesn’t like to hear a kickdrum over the sound of a hi-hat cymbal hit?

This really is more of a musical curiosity that required listening. It will certainly surprise fans of both the bands that this collective is grown from for its heavy and throwback take on music. It isn’t bad listening in small bites, although it does feel overly lengthy. Take in small doses and enjoy.

1. Life
2. Take Me Away
3. Better End
4. No Tomorrows
5. Born To Win
6. Evil And Divine
7. Been Said And Done
8. Stronger Than Before
9. Story Of The Blind
10. World Gone Wrong
11. They Fought