One of the greatest things (there are many, of course) about attending a rock event no matter the scale or even country is the discovery of new bands. During a recent venture (about 14 hrs drive) by Decibel Geek‘s own Brian Ronald, Shawn “Animalize” Irwin and Rich “The Meister” Dillon from the Toronto area to Pekin, Illinois for the Rock n’ Skull Festival a couple of the “unknown to us” bands really stood out above the rest. Chrome Mollie was one such instance. They had the opening time slot on the final day of the event, taking the stage at 4 PM on Sunday, October 18, 2015. The quartet out of Flint Michigan area quickly caught the attention of our travelling heroes (OK moron rock fans). With the bombastic pounding of drummer Eddie Golatka driving the train, Chrome Mollie ripped into their setlist that began with what we could read as “Sumthin’ U Need”. By song three I had the video camera out and recording “Your Love” which you can view at the bottom of this article. Never getting the opportunity to meet the guys or purchase music (we refused to relinquish our front of the stage spots, hoping to hold out for the headliner, due up about 8 hours later), it was a real bonus when pulling into a rest stop two hours into the drive home we ran across the Chrome Mollie guys. CD’s were indeed purchased (and a big help on the long drive home that was still ahead), but more than that the Chrome Mollie guys (Tim, Dave, Eddie and Mike) were super cool and really friendly. In a turn of the usual tables, they asked to take a photo with us! Although there were some jokes about 40 something-year-old guys using selfie sticks we were able to operate it successfully and captured our photo under the Welcome to Michigan sign.
Chrome Mollie’s Reverbnation page states: Formed in 2009, the Chrome Mollie boys set out to write & perform a pure unadulterated brand of hard-hitting Detroit style rock. Seasoned veterans of the Detroit/Flint music scene, the members of Chrome Mollie are taking area stages by storm! Supporting national acts such as Bret Michaels, Sebastian Bach, John Corabi, Y&T, Bulletboys, Kip Winger, Stryper, Jake E. Lee and George Lynch just to name a few! Make sure you check out their live show, as every set they perform is full throttle from start to finish!…..and I agree, full throttle from start to finish!
Chrome Mollie‘s All or Nuthin’ CD, their debut full-length, starts out with “Loud and Clear”. Exactly the groove I like, big, bombastic and riff-driven. The toe-tapping inducements of “Ain’t No Doubt” come along with a fist raising sing-along chorus. “Freight Train” is rather aptly named since it will surely hit you as such. A great headbanger! “Down Low” follows the same vein and “Straight for the Heart” features a little acoustic guitar supplied by vocalist Tim Smith in the mix. All or Nuthin’s liner notes report Danny Justice on guitar, but it was Mike Sutherland wielding the axe at Rock n’ Skull, so I’m not sure if there’s been a roster adjustment or if Mike was just standing in. Nevertheless, the album so far has been peppered throughout with effective and tasteful guitar solos and “All In the Name Of” is no exception. What’s an 80’s infused style rock album without a mid-tempo ballad and “Spread Love” fills the requirements with ease, even for a non-ballad fan such as ole Meister! “Writings On the Wall” has a bass lead-in thanks to David Stroud before the rest of the band joins this grinding rocker. Oddly the energy continues to slap me in the face, not the least bit diminished by the ballad a couple of songs back, with “So Special”, but the crowning glory of the album is the final inclusion. “Where’s the Dog” just totally rocks from start to finish. Another fist in the air, chorus-screamin’, adrenaline-charged rocker with all band members right on point, which actually has been true of the whole album.
Chrome Mollie aren’t trying to re-invent the wheel of Rock here, but paying homage to their influences while forging their own identity. All three Decibel Geeks were quickly impressed and, personally, I’m so glad that I not only found Chrome Mollie but that they are out there flying the flag of Rock and Roll, something increasingly difficult to do in this climate. This is the kind of straight-forward, blue-collar rock that requires cold beer and ridiculously loud volumes. Perfect! Toronto is a nice place to visit boys…just sayin’!