Release date: November 10, 2005

User Review
10/10 (1 vote)

This “Criminal Thrash” quintet, as the promo material says, hails from Pennsylvania, USA and are this year’s winner on the band/song-title rankings. This quirky image can swing both ways for the band -– on one hand, they definitely have an image of their own and their album cover, name, lyrics, and Web site lay-out all look very good, but still the quirky name may hit the band in the back -– when searching the net, for example, it may be hard to find the band just because of the difficult spelling of the name.

Anyway, this is about music reviewing and not market/publishing analysis. This is the band’s full-length debut (after having released a split EP and a homemade CD-R back in 2003), and it is indeed a solid ball of Rock. Grinder is a competent bunch indeed, displaying a wide array of Thrash/Power riffing, Classic Thrash vocals, and they blend in some neat solo work. Overall, the musicianship is very good –- the band are by no means technical perfectionists, but the hit-and-miss approach is indeed charming and suits the band perfectly.

“Stealing E.T.” opens the album with some Megadeth/Iced Earth-style riffing, and is one of the album’s highlights indeed. This track introduces the listener to all of the elements that is Rumpeltstiltskin Grinder (these are listed above), and does so in a great manner. Not extremely original, but cool indeed. Other highlights include “Grab Your Shovel (We’ve Got Bodies To Bury)” -– which maybe has the coolest title of them all -– an epic and powerful double-bass powered German-sounding thang, with Maiden-style twin guitars and Children of Bodom-ish backing vocals. Great stuff.

“The Day Merman Met Todd ‘The Harpoon’ Wilson” continues the melodic tendencies from its predecessor, and is another strong track -– and maybe the most accessible of them all –- while “Grinder” — more of the aggressive variety –- and “Ode to Tanks” -– which is another mid-tempo thumper with a very cool arrangement -– are two more strong tracks. Still, none of these stand out as the definite “killer” track every album needs. “Stealing E.T” and “Ode to Tanks” may be the strongest candidates, but none of them qualify as full-on, kick-ass tracks, but overall this is a quality Thrash Metal release indeed.

Buried in the Front Yard features everything one usually expects the genre to offer, and also adds some cool details into the mix -– the soloing, for example, is far from the “speed for speed’s sake” approach pioneered by Slayer and widely copied thereafter — the lead work almost takes on a John Petrucci-vibe from time to time, and this definitely makes the package more entertaining. Isolating the licks may be a bit clichéd, but in this setting they work very well.


  • Torgeir P. Krokfjord

    Torgeir was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio. After hearing Malmsteen's "Vengeance" on a guitar mag CD at the age of 12 or 13, he began doing hopeless interpretations of Yngwie licks and it just took off from there. After shorter stints at other zines he was snatched to Metal Express Radio in 2003. Alongside Yngwie, Savatage, WASP, Symphony X, Blind Guardian, Emperor, Arch Enemy, In Flames, Opeth, Motörhead, Manowar, and Queensrÿche are a quick list of musical faves. Torgeir is also guitarist in the Heavy/Prog/Thrash outfit Sarpedon.

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