Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Former Flatline guitarist Randy Weitzel is back and better than ever with his new project Three Thirteen

Three Thirteen's Facebook page describes the band's work as, "Balls out, pedal to the metal, high octane, rock & fucking roll!" After listening to their debut album Full Tilt, I now know that statement could not be more accurate.

From beginning to end (or as I like to use the vintage "cover to cover"), Full Tilt is pure ass-kicking energetic hard rock. With it's obvious heavy influence from bands like KISS, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Ozzy, and everything else that is holy in the metal world, this album is sure to please rockers the world over.

The album's first two tracks, "Blaster" and "One for the Road" are very similar in the fact that have a driving bluesy flavour reminiscent of ZZ Top, Deep Purple, or Cactus--but with a much heavier edge. The screaming guitar riffs combined with the gruff vocals and lyrics evoke images of fast cars, hard partying, and living the exciting life of a rockstar. The chorus of "Hey man / I am doing the best I can" from "One for the Road" may be catchy and memorable, but at the same time it keeps the down and dirty blues feel alive.

Those first two tracks are heavy, but if they're not hard-hitting enough for you, the title track sure will be. "Full Tilt" begins with the sound effects of a pinball game, and the theme of pinball completely infiltrates the rest of the song. Lyrics like "We got a motherfucking full tilt," "We got a motherfucking high score," and "We got a motherfucking ball launch," make this song about the classic game seem very aggressive. Fast-paced "Full Tilt" features heavier and darker riffs than those from the two previous tracks, and these riffs sound very much Iron Maiden influenced.

"Watch It Go!" is another heavy track that really caught my attention on first listen. It is heavy and dark like "Full Tilt," but not quite as fast. This song, which carries themes about not letting anybody hold you back, contains what is possibly the best guitar work--including the best solo--on the album. Three Thirteen's leader Randy Weitzel is incredibly talented, and this song really shows of that talent. "Watch It Go!" also features some very distorted vocals. I noticed this distorted effect is common throughout Full Tilt, but in this song, it is definitely the most obvious.

The album's penultimate track, "Living in Stereo," has a funky rhythm and some great wah-wah riffs. The infectious chorus of, "We sold our souls / Long live rock and roll/ We're flying high again / American British steel/ 7-inch leather heels / On our way to Hell," really shows Three Thirteen's love and respect for the legendary hard rockers that came before them. The band cites their long list of influences, while the song itself sounds very original.

Three Thirteen's Full Tilt is filled with classic rock riffs and fun lyrics, but each moment of it is truly unique. This band-- especially lead guitarist and vocalist Randy Weitzel--is very good at bringing a classic metal sound to the 21st Century. I highly recommend Full Tilt to any fan of the heavier side classic rock and metal, and I am really looking forward to Three Thirteen's next album which is entitled Devil Music.

9 out of 10 stars

Phantom Republic Records

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