Navigate: main >> reviews
F U L L . R E V I E W S

Against The Grain

Company: Self Destructo
Release: 2015
Genre: Hard Rock
Reviewer: Vinaya

  • Lots you can groove to

  • Saw these high-octane Detroit rockers opening for The Atomic Bitchwax this year, and it proved a highly (!) appropriate pairing, given the somewhat stoner-friendly but sometimes punky riff rock they peddle. If anything, Against The Grain's performance was a bit frantic and lacking in dynamics, reminding me of bands like Rhode Island rockers She Rides, who could be insanely energetic but lacked the songs to make an impression beyond the barroom. But this album was a pleasant surprise, boasting a strength of both riff writing and musicianship that many bands of this type seem to lack. As a result, this may be a rare example of a super-energetic rock band actually sounding a bit better on record (or mp3, as the case may be) than they do live. In particular, sprinklings of Thin Lizzy-influenced harmony guitar work help them rise above the pack, as does the occasional (slightly) tricky arrangement, like in "Pendulum." But if you just want it loud and fast, check out "Til We Die," "Afraid of Nothing" and "Run For Your Life." Gotta love the slamming, blues-influenced uptempo groove of "Nighttime," which is further enhanced by harmonica, no less. In any case, nothing life-altering here, but lots you can groove to, and for more than just an inebriated night out at your local watering hole. And again, that's more than you can say for many bands attempting this type of sound.

    About this Writer:
    Vinaya Saksena // Vinaya is either a writer who dabbles in guitar playing, or a guitar player who dabbles in writing. A Maximum Metal staffer since 2004, he has also served as a reporter for several newspapers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Although his obsession with music is such that it does not allow time for much else by way of hobbies, he also enjoys traveling, trivia, photography, British comedy and the occasional A-Team re-run.

    Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
    5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
    4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
    3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
    3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
    2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
    1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
    0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

    Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

    Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

    The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.

    All reviews for Against The Grain:
    RoadwarriorsAgainst The Grain
    Vinaya Saksena1/14/2016

    All interviews for Against The Grain:

    You may also like:

    Glenn Hughes

    Black Star Riders

    Jack Russells Great White


    Stephen Pearcy

    Black Oak County


    The Pretty Reckless

    Barb Wire Dolls

    Now or Never

    Black Stone Cherry

    Monster Truck

    Danko Jones

    Madame Torment

    Honeymoon Disease


    Bullet Train Blast

    Faith No More

    << back >>

    Mean Streak
    Declaration Of War
    Diamond Head
    Diamond Head
    Chained To The Nite
    American Dog

    Without Mercy
    Mouichido EP
    Earth Entangled
    Lust for Sacrilege
    The Unguided
    Lust and Loathing
    Jungle Rot
    Order Shall Prevail

    In Flames
    The Mirror's Truth
    Honeymoon Disease
    The Transcendence
    The Dawn Of Enlightenment
    The Grinding Wheel
    Unleash the Archers
    Time Stands Still