Old school metal for a good cause. Rule closed out the first night of Bands For Babs at Radio with a blistering set. You know, typical Rule awesomeness.
This is tough to write…
I’m going to get right to it. On July 3rd, our dear friend Barbara “Babs” Walsh suffered an AVM/stroke. She went into a coma. The news was brutal. Babs is one of my favorite people in the entire world. Anyone who knows Barbara understands what a big supporter she is of the Boston music scene. Any band that has endured her brutal honesty is better for it.* Even moving to L.A. several months ago didn’t slow her down. She had already been back this way a couple of times, attending shows and catching up with all of us who miss her. Suddenly, she was fighting for her life. Devastating.
This is easy to write…
You know what? Babs is a tough cookie. Her recovery, thus far, has been tremendous. Now we’re putting on a show with a bunch of her friends to help with the financial side of things. What kind of show? How about a two night blowout at Radio! Bands For Babs! Upstairs! Downstairs! Rock! Punk! Metal! Reunions! We’ve got it all in store for you. The show details and Facebook events are listed below. We hope you can make it out to our good ol’ fashioned rock ‘n’ roll extravaganza and help get Babs get back on her feet.
There’s also a website for donations: Funds For Babs
* Barbara has been particulary vocal about her distaste for the Dirt Mall song “The Demons & The Damned.” It’s already a long song, but I’m thinking we may bust out an extended version for this occasion. Just for you, Babs!
The hardest thing when writing about Rule is trying not to use the band’s name to describe their music – no matter how appropriate it may be.* It’s a cheap trick and I won’t sink that low, not even if it means missing out on the most fitting way to describe them. Settle in. This could get messy.
It becomes apparent that Rule’s debut EP draws its inspiration from old-school metal as soon as the intro solo to “Sucker” kicks in. What happens? More like what doesn’t happen. No rhythm guitar part. Awesome. These guys are a classic power-trio-plus-wailing-singer type of band. After an epic intro, this vampire-themed tune kicks in with a modern take on the Blizzard Of Ozz sound. “Das Brute” follows with another ominous opening sequence before unleashing the band’s Anthrax influence in full fury. Check out a blistering live take on the tune right here to see that these guys can bring the noise live.**
I’ve gushed over “Bloodletter” in the past, so let’s skip to the next cut. Since I’ve already fallen into the trap of comparing Rule to the forefathers of heavy darkness, I might as well go all out. “Fire My Angel” would make Halford and company proud. No turning back now. Did I miss anyone? Oh, yeah. How about a Motörhead meets Maiden scorcher to wrap things up? Sounds good. “Pain On Pain” it is.
Well, there you have it – one impossibly clumsy write-up of a great metal EP. I’ve managed to avoid using the band’s name as a verb while unfairly comparing them to metal gods. Damnit. One of these days I’ll figure out an adequate way to describe their updated take on classic metal. One that shows how they’ve lived and breathed these well-forged sounds. One that that expresses how they have come up with a refreshingly irony-free take on the genre. It’ll probably involve the “R”-word.
Where to get it:
* Something I’ve managed to avoid for the most part, with one minor misstep here. It’s OK, though. I compared them to my cat in the same piece.
** Oof. That was bad. That’s not even a real Anthrax tune. Rule sound nothing like that. This is getting ugly.
Here’s Rule barreling through their song “Das Brute” at Church last week.
Rule opening for Manitoba?* You know I’m there. The band blasted through their set (and a kick drum head!) at Church. Rule doesn’t mess around.
* I know they aren’t local, but I’d be remiss not to mention how great Handsome Dick and his band of merry men were. Hopefully Manitoba will be back around these parts again soon.
Remember when I asked you to remember when you liked metal? This is why…
“Bloodletter” is Rule’s first single and it’s awesome. The future classic metal riffs come flying right from the start. John Brookhouse’s throaty guitar riffs are propelled by the bombastic duo of Greg Beadle on drums and Jim Zavadoski on bass. This metal has a groove. Even when they thrash through the song’s outro they never lose the heaviness. The guitar solos have just the right ratio of flash to trash.* Above it all, Mike Soltoff’s vocals soar to metal glory. The dude can wail. Rule can wail.
Where to get it:
* This is metal and John Brookhouse is on guitar. You knew there would be guitar solos, right?
Do you like metal?
Wait! No no no! Don’t go anywhere. Let’s try this a different way.
Remember when you liked metal?
Rule plays that kind of metal. It’s Ronnie James Dio fronting a reinvigorated Black Sabbath. It’s Joey Belladona-era Anthrax without the Jams shorts, backward hats and goofy rhymes. It hints at Judas Priest, Ozzy, Maiden and early Metallica while, amazingly, not relying on nostalgia.
I know it sounds like I just contradicted myself with the whole “remember when” thing and then saying Rule isn’t nostalgic. I get it. It’s true, Rule plays a very classic sort of metal. However, my enjoyment of their debut show was not based upon my fond memories of being a mulleted teenager blasting Painkiller in a wood paneled basement with my fellow misfits.* Rule’s set seemed vital. There was no irony in what they were doing.
Rule is metal.
* Although my mulleted teenage self would have loved Rule.