No Epitaphs is Ramming Speed’s third full-length release, and at first listen it’s thrash metal done right: d-beat punk rhythm section, twin guitar riffs, and a lyrical death scream assault. It’s been said that aggressive metal is for feeling. It’s music you lose yourself in, listen to without over-analyzing. It’s the frantic, grinding madness released in mosh pits, or against the steering wheel of your car. If you approach No Epitaphs as such, you will not be disappointed. Balls-to-the-wall, they deliver brutal speed metal riffs that assault your ear holes. If that’s all you’re looking for, you’ll be satisfied, albeit bruised and sweaty and exhausted.
However, if you’re so inclined, peel back another layer because Ramming Speed isn’t just metal for its own sake. There exists a punk-infused sociopolitical commentary throughout Epitaphs that is delivered with frenzy, conviction, and a fat middle finger to police states, the NSA, and everything else that frankly pisses them off. Ramming Speed doesn’t just bring you a musical beatdown; it seeks to crack open your skull and impart some knowledge, some passion for their perceived injustices.
Peter Gallagher (vocals) head-butts you with the gospel Ramming Speed is determined to deliver. Take the lyrics of “Choke Holds and Bullet Holes:”
With choke holds and bullet holes/ a generation is murdered in the street/ and thrown into jails by state thugs/ trained to stereotype/cold-hearted pigs/scared and weaponized/we will not stand down/
Angered and frightened by the Edward Snowden leak revealing the wire-tapping actions of the US government, Ramming Speed states about their song “Don’t Let This Stay Here”:
The citizens building the first top secret atomic bombs in Oak Ridge, Tennessee were told: ‘What you see here, what you do here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here.’ This song is for the NSA employees that question what they are doing. It’s for the American civilians feeling betrayed by the breaches of privacy, and it’s for the people at our shows singing along and sharing our frustration.
I fell in love with punk for its message of nonconformity. Its immature “we’re pissed and we don’t have all the details but f*ck you anyway” mentality was a license to just feel what I needed to feel while looking diligently for answers and solutions. Thus, the unadulterated down-with-the-bullshit attitude Ramming Speed has going on is satisfying. If this is punk metal, I’m a convert.
If activism isn’t your thing, fret not. It’s impossible to put Ramming Speed into a single category. They’re a crazy polyamorous union of metal, crust punk and NWOBHM. This makes Epitaphs an album anyone appreciative of good metal can dig their teeth into.
No Epitaphs is coming at you September 4th at ramming speed, so brace yourself.
Pre-order No Epitaphs now:
iTunes – http://hyperurl.co/2957j7
Amazon – http://hyperurl.co/qk28xo