The Showdown - Blood In The Gears
Record Label: Solid State Records
Release Date: August 24th, 2010
If you were to ask fans of Solid State Records who they first thought of when they think Solid State, you would more often than not not get The Showdown as an answer; you'd get answers like August Burns Red, Underoath, Demon Hunter. The Showdown is one of those diamonds in the rough among the label's roster that many people have no idea exist, or if they do, haven't given a fair shake. After releasing their label debut, Backbreaker, in 2008, and a few member changes, The Showdown are ready to shake, rattle and roll all over America with a brand new album, Blood In The Gears.
The album's first track (and single), "A Man Named Hell", starts with a prolonged intro of a motorcycle engine revving up, reminiscent to Motley Crue's 1987 smash "Girls, Girls Girls"; although this track has nothing to do with strippers, it rocks just as hard. Something this band has been known for is guitarist Joshua Childers and his signature guitar solos, and he puts on a showcase of talent in the latter half of the song. A breakdown ends the track while vocalist David Bunton growls "Follow Us Down To Man Named....HELL."
As far as instruments go, it's what you would likely expect from The Showdown if you're familiar with them at all; blistering guitar solos on nearly every track, slow and thick guitar riffs, lots of double bass pedal action with crashing cymbals, thumping bass-lines. Aside from "A Man Named Hell", selections "Bring It Down", "No Escape", and "The Crooked Path" best show Childers guitar chops. Bassist Jeremiah Scott punches a hole in listeners ears on "Graveyard of Empires".
One of the better frontmen on the label, David Bunton solidifies my opinion with this album. His ability to sing on a ballad such as album closer "Diggin' My Own Grave", and then provide powerful, raspy vocals throughout the entire album is phenomenal, one of more original sounding vocalists in the genre by a mile. Bunton's vocals are a big part of what makes The Showdown as heavy and massive sounding as they do; listen to "Bring It Down", "No Escape" and especially the title-track, "Blood In The Gears" as evidence.
Lyrically, the songs are fairly diverse; Songs like "A Man Named Hell" are merely about facing trials and stripping Hell of its power by overcoming them, "The Crooked Path" is about the vanity of living the American Dream, and "Diggin' My Own Grave" is about choosing to live out your dreams even if it costs everything. Religion is the focus of "Dogma Enthroned".
Whether you've been a fan since 2005, or have no idea who these guys are, there is never a better time than now to prepare for Blood In The Gears to punish your eardrums.