Thursday, March 1, 2012

CD Review: Piranah - Piranah

Piranah - Piranah
Released: 2009
Orchestrated Records

As a heavy metal music lover, I jumped at the chance when Chris Higgins, drummer for Piranah, asked me to review their CD. One of the great things in this day and age of social networking is having an opportunity to review a band that lives in Tennessee when I live in Pennsylvania.

Music City, USA, better known as Nashville, Tennessee conveys notions of The Tennessee State Fair and The Grand Ole Opry. The home of the Country Music Hall of Fame, you would think a metal band in the land of straw hats and honky-tonk would be ostracized. Think again. There is a metal scene in Nashville, and Piranah is right in the middle.

The band hails as “Blue Collar" metal. Their gritty sound is hard and in your face. It is nothing I have heard before, so "blue collar" may be a new genre pioneered by the four guys who make up Piranah.
And yes, that is spelled with the A and H transposed on the end. When I asked the band about the spelling, Matt answered, ""Piranah is spelled different 'cause we didn't want it to be spelled like the fish."

At first I though this was silly. But then, I thought of other bands with "unusual band spellings" like: STAIND, MERCYFUL Fate and Limp BIZKIT. Despite the need for a spelling lesson, these three bands have done very well for themselves.

I asked Chris what some of the bands influences are. He said, "Metal that grooves with a lil thrash like a combo of these bands and a few more- Early Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, Sabbath, AC/DC, early Motley, BLS, Clutch, Godsmack, Acid Bath, Rush and soooo many more."
Yeah, yeah, but what have they done?

In Nashville they have taken over THE BUZZ (102.9 WBUZ) radio station, winning the Nashville Independent Music Awards in 2011 as well as being crowned the Buzz Battle Champs for three months in a row in 2009.  This feat gained the band into the Local Buzz Hall of Fame. I could list all of the Band Battles and competitions they have kicked ass in... ok. Here goes:

  • 12th most requested band in 2008 in the Middle Tennessee area.
  • 10th most requested band in 2010 in the Middle Tennessee area.
  • won Round 2 in 2011 on (this is a good thing!).
  • placed 17th out of 13,179 artists in the Toyota Music Rock This Space competition.
  • placed 15th out of hundreds of bands across the country in the Project Independent Contest.
But don't take the props from the Tennessee locals word for it, go listen to songs like "Slowly the Rot" which starts off with a funky groove and then slaps you in the face with grizzled vocals and a throaty guitar.  Then check out "All Along (Step by Step)" with a killer bass guitar/drum intro. "Visions of the Damned" slows it down in the middle of the CD.  And isn't always fun when there is a cover song in there somewhere?  Piranah covers Prong's "Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck."  Lead singer Darren Andrews hits four different voices on their version. 

Their self-titled third release (produced by Grammy winner Voytek Kochanek - score!) is available on iTunes. Look for new music from Piranah in the coming year!