If you like your rock mid-paced, toe tapping and mellow, look away now.
Speed Between the Lines is the classic-est (is that even a word?) of classic thrash metal, hailing back to the genre’s pomp of the mid-80’s.
Gama Bomb have been in this racket for 16 years and Speed Between the Lines represents the band’s sixth studio album. From the opening refrains of “Give Me Leather” to the final wails of “Facemelter” you are left in doubt as to where their passions lie.
Hailing from Newry, Northern Ireland, Gama Bomb have maintained a solid line-up for several years now, the most recent addition being that of a second guitarist, John Roche, back in 2012.
The band is completed by Paul Caffrey on drums, Joe McGuigan on bass, Domo Dixon on guitar and Philly Byrne screaming his lungs out.
Byrne had a well documented vocal injury in 2012 which could have finished the career of a mere mortal but Philly battled on manfully and after surgery and intensive training under one of London’s leading opera coaches he returned to his magnificent best. The results are plain to hear on Speed Between the Lines. Massive, massive respect to the guy.
The lyrical content is wide and varied, laced with a cheeky sense of humor which many bands seem to lack. Check out the lyric video below for “666teen” and you’ll get the picture.
Topics covered on Speed Between the Lines vary from the growing poverty gap, the rise of the alt-right and environmental disaster all the way to listening to Motorhead and, er, Kurt Russell.
Musically they are the top of their game. To be a halfway decent thrash outfit you need a drummer who is up to the task, which Caffrey most certainly is. He keeps an immaculate superfast beat while at the same time knocking the absolute fuck out of his kit. Cap duly doffed.
The guitaring is top notch too. Keeping up with Caffrey, Roche and Dixon thrash it out superby and when it comes to solos theirs are clear, succinct and highly effective.
Out October 12 via metal masters AFM Records, I cannot rate Speed Between the Lines highly enough. If you like your thrash metal to be of the traditional style and not completely out of hand as so much is, then this is the album for you.