“Full Throttle” is the debut album by a Melbourne four-piece going by the very self-assured name of Massive. Signed to Earache Records they are described on the label’s website as ‘fist swinging, riot-starting, punch in the face rock n’ roll’. We could pretty much end the review here as I think you have a firm understanding of what a hard rock album called “Full Throttle” played by four Aussies sounds like, but we’ll press on regardless.
‘One by One’ is a spirited opener but that’s the least you’d expect really, what with that biog quote. The band’s influences are as unsurprising as they are identifiably present. There are the obvious nods to AC/DC and Black Stone Cherry‘s increasing influence on the scene is also noticeable, especially on ‘Hollywood’ and on ‘Big Trend Setter’, where the bellicose chorus pummels you into irritation in a song which Nickleback would possibly dismiss as too lowbrow.
It’s not until ‘Lacey’, a bluesier, swinging number that the band seem to relax, sounding less strained in their attempt to rock like all their heroes. Aerosmith‘s latter period is channeled during ‘Ghost’, a teen movie soundtrack-in-waiting and an unconvincing stab at impassioned stadium rock, with singer Brad Marr copping some Steven Tyler mannerisms. ‘Burn The Sun’ at least moves the sound away from radio friendly frat-boy metal, as it kicks off like Green Day with Slash on guitar.
By ‘Bring Down The City’ this album is beginning to feel like a slog. You’re desperately hanging on for a curveball but ground down by the sheer predictability and the crushing blandness of it all.
By the time we reach the soul singers and gospel backing of ‘Best of Both Worlds’ you’re thinking surely they have exhausted every cliche in the book, and also that this seems like a very long album (it isn’t especially, it just like feels it)?!
The title track brings things to a close and sounds just as you’d hope and imagine. A breathless blast of sweat and testosterone and only the second time this album actually sounds as much fun as it’s intended to be.
My version has 4 bonus tracks which I only sit through out of professionalism and a sense of duty. Here the band write my jokes for me having a song called ‘Same Old Story’, followed by an utterly pointless cover of ‘If You Want Blood’. It’s an ideas vacuum into which the band are sucked, finally disappearing as they turn their hand to an equally unnecessary rendition of ‘Rats in the Cellar’. This ain’t nothing but a very average bar band. Massive? I don’t think so.