We meet again, local friends and family. This time of year we are all a lot tanner, sweatier, and in my case, happier! Nothing compares to being able to drive home from work when the sun is still out, with the sunroof open, blasting some of my favorite tunes. Yes, I may be that girl you see driving down the highway with her music blasting without a care in the world, but hey, isn’t that what summer is all about? That and some awesome concerts, of course.
I recently went down to Dover, Delaware, for the Firefly Music Festival, and saw dozens of amazing bands including Sublime With Rome, Modest Mouse, Sir Paul McCartney, Foster The People, Gary Clark Jr., Cage The Elephant, and New Jersey’s own Young Rising Sons. It was a great atmosphere, and an even greater way to kick off the summer festival season!
That being said, I want to talk about a band that has been popping up a lot on my timeline lately, with a solid summer schedule. I was initially drawn to their band name, then discovered that they are pretty talented as well (good thing). They go by the name of Whiplash, and they are just as brutally heavy as an actual whiplash, if you’ve ever experienced that. So, is it time to chat some thrash metal? I think so, let’s proceed. It’s been a few months since I’ve written about some heavy music, and I felt it was long overdue. I try to keep this column fresh, exploring different events, genres and more, and sometimes bands literally hit you in the face (don’t worry, no one was injured while writing this column). Whiplash are one of those bands.
Whiplash are a “thrash metal power trio” from New Jersey founded in the stone ages of 1984, according to their profile pages. I am sure many of you in the metal circuit are familiar with this band, but I am just jumping on board, so I feel they deserve a place in the spotlight. Whiplash members include Tony Portaro on vocals and guitar, Charlie Zeleny on drums, and Dank Delong on bass and vocals. So, what is it about this trio that I like so much? Well, it’s easy: it’s in-your-face, gut-wrenching music that when you’re having a bad day, you can blast and unleash every ounce of anger in your body. Don’t get it twisted, it’s a beautiful thing. They know how to get anyone’s adrenaline pumping.
The first song from them I ever experienced is entitled “Sword Meet Skull, Skull Meet Sword.” I think the title says enough about how it sounds. Their thrash is old school, before metal music was heavily produced with instruments that aren’t even the band’s (no digs here, just stating the truth). I love this song, and I think any thrash fan would agree. When people think of thrash metal, naturally the brain gravitates toward established acts like Overkill, Testament and more, but Whiplash should never be omitted from this list. This track is an aggressive force with rhythms paving the way for crunching power chords and blood-pumping anthems.
After spending some time going through their discography, knowing that they have been around for so long, I think it’s safe to say that over the years they have stayed true to their original style. This is very important for a band to remain relevant. With music that is consistently punishingly heavy, their style features some of the best thrash songs in the local market, in my opinion of course. Their musicianship has noticeably evolved over the years, keeping them above the bar. I may not be a metal “pro,” but I strongly urge all metal fans to add this band to their collection, as it’s timeless.
I have yet to see Whiplash live, but it is on my list, for I know it will be an unforgettable experience. Their tour dates show that they are playing a lot of festivals around the country, so even if you are outside of New Jersey and you’re reading this, you will have no excuse to go support this band. If you’re a fan of Kreator, Death Angel, Exodus and more, then this band is for you. Not to sit here and compare them by any means, but I believe they are up there in the genre of the serious heavy-hitters. Take a listen and see for yourself.
If you’re looking for a head-banging fix, then Whiplash are the band for you. To learn more about them, access their music, check out their upcoming schedule and more, be sure to visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/WhiplashPage. Over there you will be able to experience all of the thrills you are looking for.
I will be back next week with another band that is rocking my fancy, but in the meantime, be sure to show these guys some love! Keep supporting local music!