MACH 22 – Like My Chances (2015)
If there’s a band that has been working tirelessly and paving its way to recognition in the hostile present US market for ’80s influenced hard rock acts, one of them would be MACH 22, the group of Sebastian LaBar son of legendary guitarist Jeff LaBar from Cinderella.
While playing several gigs alongside Lynch Mob, the Philadelphia hard rock outfit are releasing a new EP titled “Like My Chances“.
With killer riffs, bluesy rhythms and soulful delivery, the band’s songs span an emotional spectrum capturing that classic hard rock feel yet with a refreshing modern edge. Initially compared with Badlands, Aerosmith, Blue Murder… and of course Cinderella, Mach 22 shows a real evolution on this new recording.
The band feels tight as never before, with a stronger and better oiled rhythm section, cleaner vocals and an overall more punchy sound.
Sebastian LaBar, who was personally trained by his father and quickly set out on his own with a distinctive soloing, is accompanied by versatile singer Lamont Caldwell (Erykah Badu Band, Dave Matthews Band), bass player Jaron Gulino (Charm City Devils), and drummer Damian MonteCarlo, and you can tell they have been together for more than five years now.
From the start “Still Standing” showcase the band’s hard-rocking sound – full of driving riffs, bouncy rhythms (big bass sound) and a soulful vocal delivery.
Next title track add a more fluid bluesy melody not far from Cinderella, but Caldwell’s provide a different, funkier vibe. Then “Get Ready” brings back ’80s hard with a pinch of hair metal during the chorus, and “Snake Dance” creeps like a rattlesnake indeed, with a bluesy mid-tempo atmosphere.
On track 5 arrives my favorite cut on the EP, and perhaps the best song Mach 22 has ever penned: a classic late ’80s hard rocker driven by a mammoth bass, jumping drums (including cowbell), sharp guitar riffs akin Van Halen, and classy vocals.
“Less Than Perfect” is the closing number, a sweet slow tune that brings to the table classic Tesla. Really good six-string work by LaBar too.
Growing step by step but solidity, Mach 22 is slowly becoming one of the best exponents of classic ’80s hard rock in US, at least speaking of young bands.
On “Like My Chances” they sound organic, lively, and their songs are stronger. The new record sports a bright production, classy and meaty.
A really good band that, at this point, it’s more than a promise.
1 – Still Standing
2 – Like My Chances
3 – Get Ready
4 – Snake Dance
5 – Another Day
6 – Less Than Perfect
Lamont Caldwell – Vocals
Sebastian LaBar – Guitar
Jaron Gulino – Bass
Damian MonteCarlo – Drums
BUY IT !