I mainly know Jeff Martin as a drummer thanks to his stint in one of my favourite bands Badlands. However, I was well aware of his past as a vocalist, most particularly for speed metal band Racer X. His involvement as the lead vocalist for the newly anointed Blasted To Static is what drew me to their soon-to-be-released self titled debut album, which also features drummer Clay T, guitarist Stu Marshall and bassist Rev Jones.
It’s important to note that while this is a return to rip roaring classic sounding heavy metal for Jeff, Blasted To Static is certainly not an incarnate of Racer X. Racer X are remembered as a leader in speed metal, debuting in the height of the subgenre in the mid-80s, and while they did change things up and added in a few surprises, their songs were typically on the whiplash inducing fast side. Blasted To Static really only features two songs that I would call fast all the way through: Opening track Suicide King and Delivered From Ashes. Suicide King does channel a good detail of Racer X into its mix, with some high pitch intense vocals by Jeff Martin only solidifying the song’s impact as a solid opener. Delivered From Ashes comes towards the end of the album and I find it to have even more brute force, mostly thanks to its string bursting guitar solo and orchestrated breakdown before the solo.
Most of the remainder of Blasted To Static‘s songs may not be necessarily fast, but that doesn’t make them any less dynamic. The album’s second track The Hammer continues the momentum that Suicide King started, and shouldn’t disappoint those who fell for the nostalgic heavy metal sound that the opener had. Dance Devil Dance has one of my favourite riffs on the album, and the scary sounding vocals make it a true standout track. Warbaby‘s opening battlefield soundtrack adds a good effect to the hard hitting track. I’m not particularly fond of the played out preaching Jeff Martin does on Devil’s Preacher. I get that he’s trying to show a bit of a serious sounding goofy element to the album, and some may enjoy this song’s inclusion, but I nothing about the song really grasps my attention.
There are a couple of ballads on Blasted To Static as well. Lovesick Blue Pt. 1 has a sound that reminds me of Judas Priest in their more recent albums, with its mix of acoustic and calmly played electric guitars. It doesn’t include any drums or bass. At least not until it breaks into its following instrumental Requiem Pt. 2. On its own the instrumental is a little bland but when listening to the two songs one after the other, which was obviously the band’s plan, it makes up for one great passionate song. Nottingham Grove is unlike what I’d have expected from Blasted To Static. Its melody reminds me more of something that more melodic bands like Def Leppard would come up with. I happen to love Def Leppard, so this acoustic track is certainly a pleasant surprise.
The most accomplished track that Blasted To Static has in their arsenal is Repossession of Nothing. It’s a perfect hybrid of their fast songs and their more common mid paced songs. It has an Iron Maiden sounding riff played behind its relatively tame verses before the band goes out in an onslaught of speed during the song’s chorus. One of the songs many standout moments is its guitar solo. Jeff Martin has worked with some great guitarists in his career, specifically with Paul Gilbert in Racer X, and Jake E. Lee in Badlands, as well as a brief stint with Michael Schenker, so it’s no wonder he’d find a guitarist in Stu Marshall who would be capable of phrasing an epic solo such as the one this track has.
Blasted To Static‘s self titled debut album is another good example of a heavy metal veteran properly showing his decades of experience and intellect and putting it to good use. Jeff Martin as well as Clay T, Stu Marshall and Rev Jones, all accomplished musicians in their own right, have put together a traditional sounding heavy metal album that may have its quirk here or there, but nothing that takes away Blasted To Static‘s credibility as the kind of metal band, and album, that up and coming bands should take note of.
“Repossession of Nothing”
8 (Out of 10)
- Suicide King
- The Hammer
- Repossession Of Nothing
- Lovesick Blue Pt. 1
- Requiem Pt. 2
- Dance Devil Dance
- Devil’s Preacher
- Nottingham Grove
- Delivered From The Ashes