This EP is mostly encountered as 3 bonus tracks to RUSTY EYE’s full length album, “Stendhal Syndrome”, but because the songs have a different character than the heavily SABBATH influenced music on said album, these songs should be treated as a separate entity. These are all essentially a stepping stone between the slightly riff happy 70s Progressive Rock meets Punk that their debut mostly resembled and the more ambitious Stoner Rock/Metal influences that were fully incorporated on the full length that followed. So essentially what we have here is something akin to a mix of THE SEX PISTOLS meets TROUBLE.
The musicianship is fairly advanced compared to “Rust N’ Roll” and includes a fair amount of contrasting sections. Most of the guitar solos resemble those lengthy, slow moving lead breaks that were fairly common in the late 60s and early to mid 70s. A little bit of Dave Gilmour here, a little Jimmy Page there, all of it tending towards a laid back feel that contrasts heavily against Miss Randall’s fast drumming and the extremely animated bass work. Mr. Rust definitely refuses to simply sit down and just play the roots of the chord progression, be it ripping off those tremolo picked bass riffs that mostly falls into Joey Demaio territory, or the smoother runs exhibited by Geezer Butler.
What basically holds this back from being an all out kick ass Rock meets Metal listen is that some of the ideas are underdeveloped. Both “Zombie” and “Cryonic Suspension” could stand to be stretched out for at least another minute or so each, giving time to reemphasize those short hook sections that come and go in between the extended lead sections. Out of the two, “Zombie” definitely wins the prize for having the best principle riff, as well as a solid set of lead and backup vocal interchanges between Miss Randall and Mr. Rust. Reverend Dee puts out a solid guitar solo in the early 70s Tony Iommi vein of bluesy yet agitated. His tone isn’t quite as good as Baron Murtland’s is on the follow up release, but it gets the job done.
Part of the reason I’ve taken such a liking to this band is that I’ve always wondered what Joan Jett or Deborah Harry would sound like singing in a more metallic version of their respective bands. On here and on the 5 songs that precede them on “Stendhal Syndrome”, I hear just that. And I’d venture to guess that if you would like to hear something that rocks and you’re bored with all the dogmatic classicism and rigidly simplistic structures of what passes as rock nowadays, you’ll probably go for this as well. Treat this as yet another reason to get your ass to the nearest store and see if they have a copy of “Stendhal Syndrone”, you’ll thank me later.
(Online September 9, 2008)