Friday, June 15, 2012

Check your Pulse

Speed is the solution to most any problem a metal band runs into. Don’t want to sound like Black Sabbath? Play faster. Got to get out of break down? Play faster.

In the case of Sonic Pulse, the band wanted to be funny but not get written off as a joke.

“The point behind the music is to  play as fast as humanly possible so you can’t deny the musicality of what’s going on,” says singer Dan Hammer of Skull Hammer who formed Sonic Pulse with guitarist Dave Carlino of Razormaze.

The other point Sonic Pulse set out to make has more to do with beer, weed, and debauchery, or as Hammer says “mixing power metal with party thrash.”

The obvious reference points here are Municipal Waste and DragonForce, and Sonic Pulse stitches those influences together quite nicely on its debut album “Lager Than Life.”

Hammer says he and Carlino worked on the “Lager Than Life” record over the last two years, releasing it June 1 and subsequently assembling a band to bring this mayhem on the road.

“It was funny. We thought there’d be a lot of interest. Our drummer was really into it, but there were a lot of people unamused. Maybe guitarists didn’t want to match wits with Dave,” Hammer says.

In the end, Sonic Pulse built itself with Hammer on vocals, Carlino and Mick Meyer on guitars, Matt C. Axe (also from Skull Hammer) on bass, and Joe Bollettiero on drums. Sonic Pulse plays Thursday June 22 at Ralph's Diner, 148 Grove St., Worcester. The bill also includes Machinage from Brazil, Endless Decay, and Red Blade.

Hammer saw DragonForce when the British power-metal band toured with Ozzfest in 2006.

“People didn’t really get it. They stood there with their arms crossed and watched the band play its three songs and leave,” Hammer recalls.

But among more discerning head bangers, DragonForce did re-ignite a taste for fast, intricately played metal anthems.

“There’s now more acceptance for a new wave of thrash. If you’re into metal, you know about DragonForce,” Hammer says.

But Sonic Pulse drives this epic sound straight into the gutter. The 7-song disc is a sprawl of booze, bongs, and zombies _ and to not pledge allegiance to fast ’n’ amped metal is to be cast out of Sonic Pulse’s world.

The whole thing started as a riff and lyrical idea.

“That one breakdown riff you hear in the song ‘Sonic Pulse’ just came to me, then the idea of a ‘sonic pulse.’ I knew then that was the name of the band, and the direction to head in,” Hammer says.

“Queen of Beers” and “Eye of the Beerholder” revel in the band’s lust for lust, while “Beyond the Black Hole” shows Sonic Pulse in touch with its inner space-fantasy geek.

“Dave and I had been talking about doing something,” Hammer says. “This wasn’t the specific idea. It just happened this way.”

All in all, not a bad way to go.

“Lager Than Life” is available through iTunes and other digital services as well as on Sonic Pulse’s Bandcamp page,

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