The song “D.O.A.” opens up Magnum Force, the album from Boston area band Metal Pistol, with a majestic Black Sabbath meets Judas Priest sound along with Sunny Lee’s very appealing Jinx Dawson (of Coven)-styled precious and defiant love/hate vocals. Writer/lead vocals Lee can also venture into the tough notes Pat Benatar hits, as well as Patty Smyth (not Smith) of Scandal. In fact you can hear a bit of “the Warrior” melody from Scandal somewhere in the mix of this long-player, which clocks in at a full 51:38 “ Well, I am the warrior and heart to heart you’ll win If you survive “ but not enough for George Harrison’s attorneys to have to come in and defend this affair. It’s just enough to get your brain thinking of songs of the past, a flavor that keeps the listener’s attention.
D.O.A. isn’t the song from Bloodrock’s 1971 disc, produced by Terry Knight of Grand Funk Railroad fame, but it is fun to compare the two. Song 2, “Minefield” is very memorable, the entire cd chock full of hooks in each and every chorus, and you might even hear a little homage to Sab’s “Iron Man” in the guitar interlude….maybe, maybe not. What Magnum Force has, though, is an ability to hit you over the head with its precision and authority, rhythm section Britt Sinclair on bass guitar and Roy Adams on drums keep the cement mixer churning while Steven (Laz) Stanley pours the ingredient into that cement to make it rock like a sledgehammer.
The song essays are lengthy, a half a dozen of the ten titles at five minutes or more (or close to that) and inside these compositions there’s real heart and emotion taking it out of the hard rock genre and into a more metal/pop arena.
“Destruction in Action” starts off with pleasant guitar and cosmic poetry from Sunny Lee. Many of the songs head into dark territory, “D.O.A” about a toxic relationship that is stopped in its tracks, while “Toxic Sin” is pretty self= explanatory. “Minefield,” “Buried Alive,” and “Killing My love” are not for the faint of heart. “Buried Alive” with a strong melody over 5 and a half minutes of Metal Pistol aiding and abetting Lee’s imagery.
Title track “Magnum Force” is a powerful, plodding instrumental steamroller with other-worldly lead guitar. Smack dab in the middle of the CD, Track 5 has three minutes and nine seconds of statement to work with. Perhaps it’s a nod to Clint Eastwood’s 1973 classic film (note the titles from the 70’s – “D.O.A.” (1971), “Magnum Force” (1973), – all being some good fun in the reinvention, of course.
Track 8, “First Time,” is a tour-de-force here and the cd’s longest song at 7:46. As with “D.O.A.” and “Buried Alive” a masterful grasp of hooks and tremendous musical interludes. Though the themes are very dark on Magnum Force the musicianship speaks volumes, a symphony of guitars opening up Track 9, “Killing My Love,” while “Josephine” concludes the disc as a bit of a love song. The title track, 5, “Magnum Force,” smack dab in the middle of the album
Metal Pistol perform 11 PM June 5, a Thursday night, at Club Bohemia in Central Square with Hoochie Coochie Men at 10 PM and Them Travelin’ Bugs at 9.
Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at TMRZoo.com. He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for AllMovie.com, Allmusic.com, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.