Release date: October 11, 2011
Canadian founded hard rockers, The Slam are set to release their debut album, Hit It! next month. Fans of 70’s hard rock outfits like KISS, AC/DC, Black Sabbath, etc should take note. The quartet is all about energy, groove, and having a good time. A vibe that resonates throughout Hit It! from beginning to end.
The quartet was put together by Canadian singer/guitarist Serge Simic, and the band really taps into the hard rock feel of the 70s, albeit with modern production.
While The Slam draws on all manner of 70’s hard rock influences the one that stands out most clearly is KISS. Vocalist/guitarist Serge Simic even looks like the bastard love child of Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons circa Lick It Up. Vocally he sounds like a young Gene…with a touch of Paul.
The album, which was mixed in Los Angeles by producer Fabrizio Grossi (Steve Vai, Alice Cooper), kicks off with “Wild Ride”. A rocker that has elements of early KISS, and a classic southern vibe that recalls Lynyrd Skynyrd. Think a more straight up, Black Stone Cherry.
“Little Angel” is a bluesy little number with more of a classic rock feel. And why not? The legendary Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Black Country Communion) adds his vocals to this one.
While “Bad Blood” has more of a modern power rock sound, you can still hear the classic 70’s nuances. “Kisser” sounds like the companion piece to the KISS classic, “Strutter”.
“Tears In The Rain” has an acoustic ballady build up. Simic loses his vocal rasp for a clear plaintive quality on the verses, before the driving guitars and a catchy chorus reel you in.
The KISS influence hits its apex on “90-50-91 Love”. The listener can immediately hear a groove riff that recalls KISS‘s “Watchin’ You” and “She”. Though the chorus of the song is completely its own.
“Saddle Up” is more KISS with a dose of Black Sabbath‘s Tony Iommi.
“Mr. Rock N Rolla” starts off with a clip of KISS Alive! blaring in the background as a pissed off parent bangs on the door yelling for his kid to turn that crap down. Ah the memories.
The album closer “Hooked On Rock N Roll” sounds like the do wop brother of Van Halen‘s tongue-in-cheek rocker, “Ice Cream Man.”
Having grown up with KISS as my inspiration, favorite band, etc, perhaps I’m more attuned to noticing the extreme influence here. Other listeners may pick up something or someone else.
That said, this is a great, melodic and driving rock record that sounds at once quite familiar, but altogether its own animal. There are no bad tracks among the bunch, and some very catchy and memorable ones in the mix.
Any fan of 70’s hard rock will want to give this a chance. KISS fans need to own this album because it could have quite easily fit into their pre-Destroyer catalog. Hit It! is an inspired debut by a band that knows the value of the past.
Serge Simic Lead Vocals – Lead Guitars
George Breed Guitars – Vocals
Nik Marcos – Bass
Mike Blacksmith – Drums