Since leaving one of the biggest bands in the world back in early 2001, Jason Newsted has managed to keep himself pretty busy. Spells with Ozzy Osbourne, Voivod and the supergroup WhoCares (featuring Ian Gillan, John Lord, Tony Iommi, Mikko Lindstrom and Nicko McBrain) preceded the launch late in 2012 of his new band. Joining the eponymous frontman are guitarists Jessi Farnsworth and Mike Mushok (of Staind fame) along with drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. After the “Metal” EP in January, they have now released their debut full length, “Heavy Metal Music” on Spinefarm Records.
‘Heroic Dose’ opens the album and points the direction for the majority of the record. With plenty of melody mixed in with the rough, abrasive rock / metal that is the basis of this album. The first half of the album continues in this vein, with small hints towards some of his previous bands breaking through every now and again. There is some decent thrash on offer, in nice short bursts, although it would have been nice to have heard one or two of the tracks unleashed fully.
For the second half of the album, there is a bit of a change of pace starting from ‘Above All’. Along with some of the albums lighter moments, it shows some of Newsted’s heavier doomier side. ‘King Of The Underdogs’ features a big chugging riff early on, but falls short of becoming the monster it threatens to evolve into. The hints of other styles fit in well with the core of the music on “Heavy Metal Music” and shows a few different directions the band could go.
“Heavy Metal Music” is exactly what it says on the cover. Not straying too far from the bands he has played with over the years. Where this album falls down is that there is no real stand out track on here. There are some strong moments but nothing that really grabbed me. It is pretty consistent and there is nothing much you can say is wrong with it. This isn’t going to break the band into the big league, but it is a decent foundation for the band to build on in future releases.