Soy City Stranglers – Black Deuce LP

Soy City Stranglers play fast and aggressive rock and roll. It’s hard to find any cracks in the game of these Decatur Illinois rockers and their latest album Black Deuce L.P. The Motörhead influence is evident in their sound, but that’s not to say they don’t make their own distinct spin on it. Good riffs and well-pronounced rhythms are the highlight of the band, with a good balance of speed and melodic hooks to reel people in. Every song is a head-banger, every cut is fun and filled with interesting peaks and valleys. Their guitar solos are flashy and explosive, and the drumming is masterfully controlled while having a means for destruction.

With the band’s turbo-charged approach to rock, Soy City Stranglers should make both punk and heavy metal fans feel right at home. Their violent tempo feels right at the edge of chaos, but the great riffs and interesting breakdowns put them much closer to good old rock and roll. These songs are perfect for a sweaty club or a giant stadium, preferably enjoyed while banging your head or clutching a beer. 

Highlights include the high-octane opener “Burn Out”, where the riffs growl like a howling engine, perfectly suited to the rampaging tempo. Just when you get accustomed to the thrash-y soundscape, the band shifts gears into a more methodical rock n’ roll groove – only to rev things back up into chaos a minute later. For a song about overcoming burn-out, this surely packs a lot of heat. 

The title track is also a standout – probably a play on Motorhead’s hit “Ace of Spades”. The band brandishes heavy metal riffs with relentless speed and aggressive vocals. The adaptability of their drummer enables the band to condense these heavy songs into structurally punk-oriented lengths (with most hovering the 3 minute range). As such, songs never meander, mostly blowing its fuse and leaving what they have to say on the table before the listener could catch their breath. Perfect for modern listeners (like me), with low attention spans.

Other standouts include “Highway” where Soy City Stranglers seem to be running at warp speed while their engines guzzle and burn through gallons of fuel. “Broken Homes” pushes things into a darker side, reminiscent of early Metallica. Something that album closer “Blacked Out” also alludes to, while standing on its own via its more intricate riffs. Black Deuce LP is a thrill ride that peaks early and never dies down. A promising act to look out for, proudly representing Midwest rock and roll.

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