God, I love hearing a balls out heavy rock record. There’s nothing quite like getting your ass kicked from the first riff. House of Broken Promises do just that with Using the Useless and manage to add hooks to the songs that make them rock radio ready.
Comprised of former members of Unida ( a grossly underrated band), these guys bring in elements of their former bands, toss in some Corrosion of Conformity, Metallica, Spiritual Beggars and Thin Lizzy to concoct a potent blend of biker-esque rock and metal. From the album’s opening track “Blister”, it’s clear that HoBP ain’t hear to fuck around. It moves with a nice, boogie-rock tempo that though is often used, has a freshness that’s gonna reel you in for the listen. “Obey the Snake” follows quickly after with a definite NWOBHM feel that will make the most jaded of music fans want to raise the goat horns in homage. This point on, the album moves into a varied world of heaviness from the sludgy-yet-tight (“Psycho Plex”) to the catchiest of metal (see “Justify”). The previously mentioned track sounds like something that could find itself accompanying a bad ass action film trailer that makes you wanna punch the next thing that walks in front of you.
One of the record’s stand out tracks is the Spanish language “Ladron” which being a foreign language song, can go either way for a lot of folks. Not here-it’s another great piece to this collection of songs that consistently delivers on the goods. And while I like some of the faster tracks, I dig “Walk on By” for it’s sheer groove and accessibility.
Make no mistake, this record has the mass appeal that some of it’s peers showed yet never quite could capitalize on. HoBP could easily fit on a bill with any of the post-Pantera projects of Phil Anselmo and still got enough of that underground in their blood to rock the balls off of Fireball Ministry and Solace’s fans. I got a pretty good feeling that these guys are on the fast track to some much deserved success. So, if you’re the type of person that wants to say that you were into em’ before they got huge, buy this album NOW! Otherwise, the rest of the world is going to catch on and leave you in the dust. These guys are too good to just be toiling away in stoner rock purgatory and I suspect they’ll be able to board the rock star train soon.