If I could have a band with me to light it up at the Gates of Hell, it would be Zero Down. Yes, the wild-minded snake handler is back on the cover, but this time instead of entertaining his own fervent parishioners, he's on a more preponderant crusade shooting up the arid landscape with crazed abandon and an ammunition of some of the best good ol' boy American hard rock that Seattle probably hasn't heard for at least a couple decades. Songs like the title track "Good Times at the Gates of Hell", "Bolt in a Bottle" and the immensely raucous "Loud, Proud and Evil" charge forth with all the boldness and confidence of a religious revival. But where those numbers stampede the listener like a charging buffalo, the cavalry is really in "Fistful of Dynamite"; striking at the listeners flanks with a larger range of skill. Although they are a fairly young band, I can hear flashes of leads that recall Priest, Megadeth, Motorhead and a charged up Clutch. Reflecting the inner cartoon art of the band members, nothing is taken too seriously and many of the songs have subtle winks, lyrically and vocally, to the old school that would do Tenacious D proud. Their prior CD Old Time Revival was a pretty fair listen, but GTATGOH has better songs, better packaging and importantly a better production with louder everything--as good as any label CD. Zero Down is the pure, unpretentious, muscle car heavy hard rock that you always want on your side.
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