THE SLAM – Hit It! (2011)
THE SLAM is a new Hard Rock band founded by Canadian lead singer and guitarist Serge Simic, influenced by ’70s / ’80s acts.
The Slam draws on all manner of ’70s / ’80s hard rock influences such as Aerosmith and late Zeppelin, but the one that stands out most clearly is Kiss.
Serge Simic even looks like the bastard love child of Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons circa Lick It Up.
This quartet is all about energy, groove and having a good time. A vibe that resonates throughout their debut “Hit It!” from beginning to end.
Opener Wild Ride brings a steady pace and a heavier rock groove, but let’s you know that The Slam is all sweat and swagger. The song has a classic hard rock feel with a nice chorus line in the vein of Little Caesar.
Next, on “Little Angel”, the band recruit veteran singer Glenn Hughes (aka the Voice of Rock) for lead vocals. That’s a strong endorsement for their sound, and the song delivers solid rock with a blues edge.
Hit It! goes from strength to strength on the next three tracks.
The pace accelerates, and the groove gets your toe tapping on “Bad Blood”, which has more of a modern power rock sound with a heavier riffing and Simic’s more aggressive vocal lines.
“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. It really is tailor made for melodic rock radio.
“Kisser” is pure infectious rock with its foot-stompin’ beat, tongue in cheek delivery and Kiss inspired riffs.
The Kiss influence is even more noticeable on “90-50-91 Love” specially by the groovy riff that recalls ‘Watchin’ You’.
“Saddle the Moon” offers big guitars. Some of Simic’s most ripping 6-string work is present here.
“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 tune that closes the album is “Hooked On Rock N Roll”, a bluesy grass U.S. track with a laid back acoustic guitar, a nice way to close this debut album.
“Hit It!” is a good, melodic and driving rock record that sounds at once quite familiar, but altogether its own animal. It offers classic hard rock in a tasty old-fashioned style, albeit with modern production.
There are no bad tracks among the bunch, and some very catchy and enjoyable ones in the mix. Simic’s voice sets The Slam apart from new bands attempting the same sound. He has a delivery that conjures up images of hard rock’s elder statesmen.
The production is analogue-clad with the feel of vintage vinyl grooves and the music smiles in a similar direction: party inspiring rock n roll with a modern hardrockin’ smell in the vocals and rhythm section parts.
The overall result shall leave you happy nonetheless if you’re mainly looking to have a good time.
Hit It! is an inspired debut by a band that knows the value of the past.
Nice ‘n Rockin’.
01. Wild Ride
02. Little Angel
03. Bad Blood
04. Tears In The Rain
07. Saddle The Moon
08. Push On
09. Mr Rock N Rolla
10. Hooked On Rock N Roll
Serge Simic – lead vocals and lead guitar
George Breed – rhythm guitar and backing vocals
Nik Marcos – bass
Mike Blacksmith – drums
Glenn Hughes – vocals (2)
BUY IT !