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Son of Sam
AlbumsSongs From the Earth
DAVEY HAVOK - VOCALS
LONDON MAY - DRUMS
STEVE ZING - BASS
TODD YOUTH - GUITAR
Just when the hardcore/punk movement seemed chewed up, swallowed, and spat into a sea of nothingness, Son of Sam have come bearing the fruit of all that is death rock integrity.
Formed only a year ago following AFIís tour with Samhain and Danzig, Son of Sam in the brain child of guitarist Todd Youth (Danzig, Agnostic Front, Samhain, Murphyís Law, etc), vocalist Davey Havok (AFI), drummer London May (Samhain, Tiger Army, Dag Nasty) and bassist Steve Zing (Samhain, Chyna). The project began almost accidentally with May, Youth, and Zing penning four tracks one night out of sheer boredom. ìI quit drinking and doing drugs and just didnít know what to do with myselfî confessed Todd Youth, who wrote and produced the entire record. ìI went to Londonís house and just started writing.î
The tunes summon elements of Samhain, The Exploited, and 7 Seconds, with the hardcore drive of Black Flag and the Circle Jerks, and are anything but drab. ìI think itís a mix of goth, punk, hardcore and metal music. The music is dark, aggressive, melodic, and unpredictableî said May of the bandís distinct sound. The songs are filled with ìJackhammer drums, relentless bass, bone-saw guitar, and howling vocals. Itís reminiscent of Earth A.D., era Misfits, and Unholy Passion era Samhain.î Havok was asked to write and record the vocals. Before long, four songs multiplied to ten, and Son of Sam (a tongue in cheek play on the modern pronunciation of Samhain) was spawned.
With an all-star line up, Nitro Records (home to bands such as The Vandals, AFI, Ensign, TSOL, The Damned, and The Turbo Acís) took the band immediately, before even hearing a tune. The debut, appropriately titled Songs from Earth, was recorded, mixed and mastered in only days at Grandmaster Studios in Hollywood, keeping with it a grass roots, organic, basement-made edge. Youth says ìI just went in and didnít fuck around. We did the record in ten days. Nick Raskulinecz (who engineered Marilyn Mansonís Hollywood) engineered it and it was done.î
ìIt was like a workshopî recalls May. ìDavey [was] upstairs writing, Todd downstairs producing, while Steve played bass and I rehearsed backup vocals with the SOS hellfire choir. We had never played together as a unit and some of us were fighting jet lag, but we pulled it off. ì Havok agrees, saying this was ìthe fastest recording Iíve ever experienced.î Havok joined the band four days into the recording process where he immediately went to work singing the tracks. But donít think the atmosphere all work. While the recording was non-stop Havok says that ìeveryone was really relaxed and having a good time doing it. The attitude was, we donít have much time, but fuck it, letís just go for it and have fun.ì
Guest appearances include Glenn Danzig (who plays guitar on ìStrayî and guitar and keyboards on ìSongs From Earthî), Joey C of Danzig and Nick 13 of Tiger Army only further accentuate the bandís nostalgic appeal. ìIím not speaking for myself, of course, but all of the players on the record have a long history of making great musicî said Havok. He goes on to say that ìWeíre playing a style of music that no one really touches anymore.î The end product relentlessly oozes with anthem-esque vocals, Anti-Flagish back-ups, and gang chants. Zing believes that ìbecause of who we are and who weíve played with, we are the band that other bands want to imitate. We really just want to reach that market that missed out on the original Misfits and Samhain.
With ten tracks clocking in at only 30 minutes and 43 seconds, Song From Earth hold true to the old-school stylings of punk. Youth views this album as a sort of tribute to Samhain. I had forgotten how much I love and respect the bandî he says. Tracks like ëEverynightî spew forth an adrenalized barrage of savage build-ups and bull dance break-downs, while ìIn the Hillsî and ìPureevilî invoke the perfect atmosphere for resurgence of circle pits and stage diving galore. Racy, raw and haunting with a dark, Danzig-esque cape blanketing the entire offering, Son of Sam hurls listeners back into the very bowels of genuine, punk core evil.