Hot off the Press

Beverly Killz | Gasoline & Broken Hearts

by Mark Allen
– Senior Columnist —

Beverly KillzThe band may hail from the land of pizza, pasta, and Pisa (as in, the Leaning Tower of), but their name summons up images of sleazy Sunset Strip glam-metal circa 1989. And there certainly are some glam-sleaze elements supplementing Beverly Killz’ sound, which is built on a sturdy foundation of melodic hard rock. Sure, it’s all fairly cliché, but it’s done so well that you probably won’t care.

Frontman Vince (the members eschew last names) will not go down in history as the hottest voice the rock world has ever heard, but he gets the job done. There are times on the slower and mid-tempo tunes that his delivery is a tad tentative, but he compensates on the full-throttle rockers by bringing a hearty vocal edge to the proceedings and selling the songs with a suitable supply of sleaze-rock attitude.

The guitars are crisp and clean and occasionally allowed to combust with a little sizzle that is never allowed to spin crazily out of control. (The exception is “Dark Lady,” where Mark really lets the molten solo rip in full-on melodic metal mode.) The bass is beefy yet given room to breathe, the rhythms rock solid, and the sonic quality is open and spacious; Beverly Killz do not succumb to the temptation to strangle the life out of their music through overproduction.

Most of the songs are equipped with the kind of pop-metal hooks that came into prominence during the ‘80s hair-metal era. “Baby You’re on Target” is one such track, sporting a hard rocking edge and big chorus to go along with it, complete with a heaping pile of good ol’ gang backing vocals. “For Love” is another bad-ass barn burner that features some of Vince’s best singing and those gang vocals reappear (actually, they never went away) to provide extra punch and power. “Sin City” comes strutting out with a heavy stride while the raunchy groove, rumbling bottom end, and clenched-fist chorus equals good times for melodic hard rock fans. Oh yeah, there are also more gang vocals and if you’re starting to pick up a pattern here, you would be most astute.

There is only one truly bad song on this album: “What is Love,” a cover of that putridly popular ‘90s dance hit by Haddaway. It’s as jarringly out of place as a pubic hair in a bowl of tapioca pudding and makes you want to ask the band what the hell they were thinking. Sure, it’s “interesting” in a car wreck kind of way to hear the annoying one hit wonder rocked up, but “interesting” does not mean “good.” Sure, you can drizzle chocolate syrup all over a dog turd, but it’s still just going to taste like chocolate-covered dog shit.

Matters of canine feces aside, melodic hard rock fans, especially those who like it with that Sunset Strip edge, should enjoy Beverly Killz more than Michael Bay enjoys making movies with massive explosions. Is it so good that it would be worth murdering your mom in order to gets your mitts on a copy? Well, no…but if you have to run over a squirrel or two in order to get a copy, it’s definitely worth that. The squirrels, of course, might have a differing opinion.

Genre: Melodic Hard Rock

Vince (vocals)
Mark (lead guitar)
John (rhythm guitar)
Andre (bass)
Fabio (drums)

Track Listing
1. Never Back Down
2. Away From Danger
3. Baby You’re on Target
4. Dark Lady
5. Livin’ & Dyin’
6. Riding Alone
7. For Love
8. Power of Your Sex
9. Sin City
10. In Sorrow
11. What is Love?


Label: Perris Records

Hardrock Haven rating: 8/10