by Mark Allen
– Senior Columnist –
With Locked & Loaded, Eve To Adam (ETA) have moved from the modern rock minor leagues to the majors. Not by proffering anything innovative to the proverbial table, but by precisely nailing the genre in which they have elected to operate. All the components are expertly clicked into place and cranked out with urgency, hunger, and passion. If you liked ETA before, you’re going to love them now. If you thought they were a subpar band before … you’re still going to love them now. The band has peaked, hit its stride, found its groove … or insert your metaphor of choice.
ETA sound like an amalgam of My Darkest Days, Hinder, and Pop Evil. Which means any self-respecting modern hard rock connoisseur just started salivating like a hungry dog handed a sirloin steak with a side of bacon. If you have heard the band’s insanely-infectious single “Straitjacket Supermodel,” then you have a very good idea of what to expect on this album: razored hooks, tough guitars, gritty vocals, pounding rhythms, and supersized choruses.
When it comes time in a couple of months to settle the score on 2013’s best modern rock releases, it’s hard to comprehend ETA failing to make the cut. In the lyrics to the title track, vocalist Taki Sassaris sneers, “Baby, you should have realized / you brought a knife to a gunfight.” If the modern hard rock market is symbolic of a gunfight, then ETA did not show up with a blade, they brought a big-ass bazooka.
However, like a Hollywood supermodel with halitosis, the album is not quite flawless; a handful of filler tracks (slightly) hobble the quality and momentum. Thankfully, these moments are infrequent enough to not muck up the album as a whole—your impression when the last chord fades from your stereo will be favorable—but from time to time you will realize that the songwriting on a few tracks is not quite as awesome as it is on others. But fear not, the good far outstrips the bad. And frankly, there is no “bad,” just a few “not as good as the others.” See the difference?
Selecting a favorite song might be a chore; there is a banquet of badass choices. “Immortal” is heavy, hooky, and punchy, and that triune combination is a winner every time. For pulse-pounding, head-banging, body-moving aggression, “What Would You Kill?” injects sonic adrenalin straight into your veins with a huge chorus and well-placed gang vocals. And if you’re looking for catchy and upbeat but still hard rocking, “Let’s Burn” gets the job done with the kind of ear-snagging catchiness that would make Nickelback proud … or envious. Granted, the lyrics are a bit clichéd —“I live to feel your fire / Light it up, let’s burn”—but they work because it’s that kind of song. When you’re rockin’ out to a tune called “Let’s Burn,” you’re not looking for lyrics by Nostradamus.
There is no reason for any modern hard rock aficionado not to own this album. Granted, they’re not the first band to unleash this big guitars, big hooks, big choruses brand of rock ‘n’ roll, but they are one of the best to try it in recent memory. Eve To Adam showed up to the party with their hard rock guns fully loaded and while a bullet or two may miss the mark, they hit the bulls-eye more often than not.
Genre: Modern Hard Rock
Takki Sassaris (lead vocals)
Alex Sassaris (drums)
Gaurav Bali (lead guitar)
Luis Espaillat (bass, backing vocals)
Adam Latiff (rhythm guitar, backing vocals)
1. Locked & Loaded
4. Straitjacket Supermodel
5. Fortune Teller
6. What Would You Kill?
7. With the Truth
8. Let’s Burn
9. Crime Scene
10. Shut Out The World
Label: Megaforce, Sony RED
Hardrock Haven rating: 8.5/10