I find it surprising how much I enjoy Norwegian metal band Studfaust. I think it’s because they aren’t the easiest to categorize. The bands harsh vocals are something I’d typically call old and used and boring, but somehow they just appeal to me. It may be the music that is played behind the singing, even though the music can start to sound the same after a bit. I just can’t figure it out.
This “mini album” (which I’d still call an EP) called Where The Underdogs Bark has seven tracks that add up to just over twenty minutes. The songs are of a fast, hardcore nature, but not punk. The songs have the true spirit of heavy metal to them. To single out the songs will be a bit redundant, because frankly all songs on the album are just fast, harsh and heavy.
Think Motörhead with different vocals. You hear it right away with opening track Half Human Half Dynamite. Only Motörhead always had a way of changing things up relatively well between songs, keeping a driving signature sound. Studfaust just sound like they’re trying to have a carelessly good time. Any album with a song titled Erection of the Egoist should never be taken too seriously.
To the professional ear, a song like Hell Is Full does differentiate itself from the rest of the pack, with its slower pace without losing its absolutely heavy edge. Closing track 1980’s Ladies has its differences from the rest of the album too. It’s a little more melodic, making for a bit more of a worthwhile listen.
Studfaust have their obvious shortcomings on Where The Underdogs Bark, but a band such as this isn’t trying to be perfect, and they certainly aren’t trying to be taken seriously. At least I really hope they’re not. When taken for what it is, Where The Underdogs Bark is a good heavy metal album that may or may not stick with metal listeners after first listen.
“1980’s Ladies” – I thought it would be hard to pick a highlight from an album such as this, but it really wasn’t. 1980’s Ladies is by far the catchiest song on the album and actually stands out rather than blends in to the rest of the album.
6.5 (Out of 10)
- Half Human Half Dynamite
- Where The Underdogs Bark
- Hell Is Full
- Street Judge’s Gavel
- Erection Of The Egoist
- The Devil Of Mine
- 1980’s ladies