Early Man Closing In

With indie rockers like Rob Crow (Goblin Cock) and David Pajo (Dead Child) indulging in their metal fantasies the timing seems perfect for a label like Matador to sign a band like Early Man. Based out of New York City, these tour-mates of Mastodon and Turbonegro are a two-man machine featuring the crunching guitars and menacingly soaring vocals of Mike Conte and the mighty time-keeping of drummer Adam Bennett. Paying tribute to metal’s glory years, the duo send out a rallying cry to such luminaries as Judas Priest, Black Sabbath, Diamond Head and Ride the Lightning-era Metallica. Produced by seasoned vet Matt Sweeney (formerly of Chavez, Zwan), who also fills in on guitar, Closing In is their debut album, and an electrifying one at that. "Four Walls” starts things off with a nod to peers Fucking Champs, with enough thrashing riffage to devastate a small country. "War Eagle” may hit close to home for Ozzy fans, as Conte’s voice hits that unmistakable tone, but it’s hard not to love mimicry that is so spot on. The sonic blitzkrieg of "Evil Is” and the danceable rhythm of "Like a Goddamn Rat” show the flexibility of their songbook and prove the two-piece can switch up their patterns with ease at the drop of a hat. Purists may find Early Man to be a little contrived or caricatured, but for those who can break away from musical politics and simply enjoy righteous music aimed at regaining a cherished moment in time, Closing In is a wild ride that doesn’t ask anything more from its listener than to get a stiff neck. (Matador)