Adrenaline Mob: The Rock Tribune’s review by guest Dan Cartagena

Adrenaline Mob? Where did these guys come from? Where do I begin? First off, they are a five piece band of which most rock fans would know of at least two members. Russel Allen, vocalist from Symphony X, Fozzy/Stuck Mojo’s Rich Ward on rhythm guitar, the monstrous Mike Orlando on lead guitar, Paul Dileo on bass and the infamous Ex-Dream Theater drummer Mike Portnoy to complete the group. Sounds like a power house of a band…lets see how their EP holds up.

I listened to the first track titled, “Psychosane,” and I gotta admit these guys got some serious balls behind their music. The song is full of energy due to heavy riffs, mean drum fills, Russel Allen’s powerful vocals, and the tight low end. I was floored by the guitar solo from Mike Orlando which started off with a quick little scale into some blues flavored licks that finished off with a Michael Angelo Batio style run that blended perfectly into a talk box/wah section.  They threw some F-bombs in the lyrics which I thought were hilarious, but it definitely fit the song.  All in all, pretty bad ass first track.

As I continued listening, “Believe me” reminded me of a Disturbed style riff that moves straight into a very melodic chorus. This song seemed to have more elements involved than the previous track due to the melodic breakdown after the insane guitar solo. Russel Allen really shows off his range in this particular song with melodies in his higher register. The song ends with a bang as Mike Orlando finishes off with an incredibly difficult run, while Portnoy is throwing in as much double bass as possible to compliment the fast paced ending.

“Hit the Wall” definitely shows off Portnoy’s ability to grab the spotlight…that is until Mike Orlando comes in and steals it away with another fast paced guitar solo that incorporated sounds similar to an early nineties nintendo game. The verses in this song remind me of an Alice in Chains style structure, which was not in any of the two previous tracks. And, of course, they had to throw in a dirty, southern riff to give you that head banging ending.

For me, track 4 entitled “Down to the Floor,” didn’t really impress me after hearing the first three tracks. Seemed like too much of the same thing and nothing really stuck out that caught my ear. Gotta give Mike Orlando credit again on a rippin’ solo, but yea, didn’t really dig it too much. As for the last track, they pulled out an old Black Sabbath cover called “The Mob Rules.” They knocked this one out if you ask me. Russel Allen’s vocals reminded me exactly of Dio and couldn’t have complimented the song any better. Another mean solo in this song as well which came to no surprise after hearing the other songs. Black Sabbath would be proud.

After listening to the EP, I don’t think I’ve heard a band like this before. At first I thought I was listening to an old school 80s metal band until I heard the voice of Symphony X vocalist Russel Allen. His voice is incredibly powerful and adds this grungy, dirty, angry type of feel. He had this to say about the band:

“[Adrenaline Mob is] a straight-up rock band with just rock songs — kind of like an edgy, modern kind of sound… almost like Rob Zombie meets Black Label Society meets Disturbed, with Dio singing. So it’s definitely different and it’s cool.”

I think that description is pretty damn close to what I think about these guys. Being a musician myself, I always want to hear something new that impresses me and forces me to become a better player. These guys did just that. The guitar riffs are heavy, meaty, bluesy, grungy and metal all at the same time. The drums, played by the infamous Mike Portnoy, are perfectly syncopated with the guitars and the drum fills definitely have that Portnoy type of sound. The low end blends well and compliments the overall sound of the band. Mike Orlando rips a mean solo in every single track giving you that I-will-always-be-a-better-guitar-player-than-you type of feel. You need to keep your eye on these guys once their full length album is released.

 

 

Dan Cartagena is currently the lead guitarist for Miami’s own Daybreak Embrace.

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