POUNDER – Uncivilized

  • 5/10
    POUNDER – Uncivilized - 5/10


Hells Headbangers
Release date: February 22, 2019

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

California’s Pounder state their debut album represents a cross-section of their ironclad aesthetic of expertly crafted and executed Heavy Metal true to their influences of NWOBHM, early ’80s Speed Metal, Hair Metal, and AOR. Forming the band was challenging; they couldn’t find a singer and recorded with a session drummer. The former decision comes with a cost as vocals prove to be a weak link.

Judging by the opening title and its high speed urgency, “Fuck Off And Die” seeks to shock and awe. While it’s refreshing to lead with a fully realized song instead of a throw away instrumental, the thin, raspy wail of the vocalist and the furious but weak drums are less than intimidating. The title track follows and showcases improved songwriting and lyrics. The sophisticated architecture and intricate guitar work are complemented by a non-stop galloping punch of the rhythm section. A catchy chorus is bolstered by backing vocals for a much needed vocal boost. Check out the video of the fret work on the guitar solo. “Red Hot Leather” tries to maintain the momentum but is short on lyrical hooks and long on cliché. Power ballad, “Long Time No Love”, features a refreshing juxtaposition of lilting guitar and heavy riffing. The play of one off the other and excellent solos make this a standout track. Backing vocals are again used to good effect to add depth and power. “We Want The Night” has the classic feel of a Traditional Metal fist-raising anthem. Relatively short and to the point, this unsophisticated juggernaut is an obvious choice to lead the band’s live sets. The latter third of the album struggles to be memorable. The overly long and uninspiring ballad “Answer The Call” is sandwiched between the fantasy inspired “The Mists Of Time” and the horror themed “The Evil One.” These tracks are less developed and fail to deliver the spirit of innovation evident on earlier tracks.

Uncivilized is an honest reflection of the band’s influences, but its potential is not fully realized. The band’s urgency to share their music cut short their search for a powerful vocalist and left them with a strained vocal performance that rarely sounds comfortable. The highlights are the strong guitar work and some inventive song writing which should be cultivated in future releases.


TRACKLIST (Highlights: 2, 4, 5 )

  1. Fuck Off And Die
  2. Uncivilized
  3. Red Hot Leather
  4. Long Time No Love
  5. We Want The Night
  6. The Mists Of Time
  7. Answer The Call
  8. The Evil One


Matt Harvey – Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Alejandro Corredor – Bass Guitar
Tom Draper – Lead Guitar
Gus Rios – Drums


  • Zac Halter

    Zac was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, hailing from Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. His interest in heavy music began in the 70s with his father’s Johnny Cash albums. After cousins introduced him to Steppenwolf, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, KISS, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple, Johnny Cash didn’t stand a chance. The 80s were spent in full pursuit of everything Metal: searching for new music at record stores, listening to albums, studying the covers and sleeves, and attending concerts. In the 90s, he preferred Death Metal over Grunge and hosted the Death Metal Juggernaut on WUPX in Marquette, Michigan. It was advertised as the only prime time Death Metal radio show in the country.

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