Pasadena Napalm Division

Album Title: 
Pasadena Napalm Division
Release Date: 
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Review Type: 

Depending on what info source you consult, the origins of this badass Thrash/Hardcore Crossover band from Texas lay either in 2008, or in 2011. Personally, I don't know which to prefer. Anyway, here's the story according to the band's European label...

When, in 2011, the band Dead Horse took a break, guitarists Greg Martin & Scott Sevall (the latter also providing backing vocals) and drummer Ronnie Coyote approached famed D.R.I. singer Kurt Brecht about jamming together. Finding the chemistry working well, they played their first show as Crud Cutter, and cut a self-titled 7-track demo as Pasadena Napalm Division soon after. They then started an unrelenting assault on local venues in the Houston area, and in the process developed their current sound. A process which came all naturally and, according to Brecht, very much like in his own band.

Okay, rewind...according to another info source, the band already came together in 2008, which would also be when they cut aforementioned 7-track EP. Under the shortened title of P.N.D. (and sporting the same songs minus one), the band would then have released an EP through Abyss Records in September of 2010. In those early days they went through two bassists nevertheless, these being former Angkor Wat's Mike Titsworth and one Mike Lucas, and eventually settled on Bubba Dennis II for permanent bass duties (and additional backing vocals). Now, to me that second story sounds quite likely. I mean, it would take a group of such bad tightasses....ooh sorry, I meant that to say “tight badasses” (just playing with words here...why does everything always have to be taken so darn serious anyway? It was just a joke I tell you! I mean, back in the days...was it '88 or '89?... I was one of the few defending D.R.I.'s Crossover stance in music against the purists from the Hardcore scene...I even publicized an interview in which I allowed Brecht and company to tell about their article which made a lot of European, and American, dudes think twice about their own so-called open-minded attitudes! Sorry, a bit of unwarranted personal history there...anyway, back to the story)... It would take this type of focused musicians some time to go from one bassist to another. After all, each and every one of 'em would have to be “broken in”, and he'd at least hang on to play a couple of shows with the band before having to move on to...whatever he thought at that time was more important!

What bugs me, is that it could've taken a band with the musical dynamics as displayed on the album that's been spinning rounds in my cd-player on a regular basis for the last 3 weeks or so (originally I wasn't even to do the review, and was given the album as a bonus for helping out our editor-in-chief at headquarters, and got my writing orders only 4 days ago) this long, to get their full-length debut out! But then I am reminded of the sorry state the music business is in these days, especially on a major label level! Then again, none of the members of this band ever played in that league anyway, you know! Each and every one of them still has to have a frequently hated day job to make ends meet. That, in fact, is part of what makes this band's music so great...the little (and not-so-little) frustrations of ordinary everyday life!

Anyway...listening to P.N.D. is like having the clock turned back 25 years, to the late '80s when bands such as D.R.I. and Nuclear Assault were at the high of their game. It's like feeling young all over (aw, my poor bones and muscles!) again. In other words, this is music which should appeal to the younger generation of Thrash Metal music lovers, as well as to the now hopefully really open-minded Hardcore fans. The album was introduced to music lovers worldwide through leading single “100 Beers With A Zombie” (and nó, the lyrics are neither “evil” or out of the world of fantasy...they're merely about a midnight alcoholic binge with the band's roadie, whose name happens to be Zombie Ray!), which you can listen to (along with 5 more songs from the album) at the band's MySpace page (link through the band's own (www.), where you'll also be able to link to the band's facebook and twitter pages, as well as the album's page on iTunes). Not posted there is “Murder The Bearded Lady”, the only song on the album sporting a guest performance, that being from Municipal Waste's Tony Foresta, whom for the duration of the song takes over the mike from Brecht, and even re-wrote the lyrics of the song prior to his performance.

End conclusion : Thank you, P.D.N., for rekindling that Crossover sound. Personally, I think it's true that in the music business, each and every genre and sub-genre is promoted and exploited in its turn, and I for one would not mind a resurgence of the Crossover scene at all! I mean...bring it on over right now! Final conclusion : count this album among the ones posted on my “Best Albums Of 2013” lists!