SLEDGEBACK have a hard act to follow. That act is a whole generation of 90s punk rock music that spawned a range of long standing artists, who will forever be in the punk rock hall of fame. It’s large a mountain to climb but for Sledgeback it’s apparently a climb worth taking. With members mostly hailing from America but with a Hungarian singer also added to the mix, this three-piece have been trying to re-create a sound that we first heard all those years ago since they formed in 2004 and now they are back to do it all again with new album ‘Bite The Bullet’.
The first thing you can’t help but notice is the influences within Sledgeback’s music. Rancid and Social Distortion similarities are prominent, but this unfortunately isn’t enough to secure them victory. Mediocre is defiantly the best word to describe ‘Bite The Bullet’, something that can certainly not be said for the bands that Sledgeback are seemingly paying homage too. Tracks such as ‘Palinka’, ‘Hey Ho’ and ‘Don’t Look Down On Me’ admittedly do provide some entertainment within the album, but this hard work quickly becomes undermined next to songs such as ‘Beer’ and ‘Wasted Gang’, which float into obscurity and don’t seem to possess anything really creative or different. The latter is unfortunately a running theme that consistently drives through ‘Bite The Bullet’, making it somewhat of a disappointing listen.
While Sledgeback aren’t pretending to do anything new or unique here, they still need to have a little something extra to entice people to their music and unfortunately this is something they lack. If you want punk rock music, with a California zip code attached, your best off looking elsewhere but if you still wish to check ‘Bite The Bullet’ out, then you had better be prepared for disappointment.
Original article first appeared on Punktastic website on 03/02/11