|Chuck Norris Experiment - ‘Right Between The Eyes’ (Transubstans Records)|
|Written by Darrel Sutton|
|Saturday, 15 March 2014 03:00|
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Chuck Norris Experiment, or CNE as they are often referred to (and for the sake of my shite typing I’m more than happy to use a nice short acronym). Harking right back to their early releases, the likes of ‘Senorita (Look Out)’ and ‘Caped Crusader’ gave me the same thrills the likes of Turbonegro and Gluecifer did in their prime did. But despite their tireless live work and more splits (singles not personnel issues!) than a Chinese gymnast, fate always seem to conspire that CNE never quite reached the same level of recognition or gained the kudos they deserved. However, that might very well be about to change. Whilst their last full-lengther ‘Dead Central’ promised much but ultimately left me a little cold, a few attention grabbing, and damn good splits with the likes of Nick Oliveri, Hewhocannotbenamed and Mondo Generator gave more than a few nudges that something was brewing in Gothenburg. The recent release of their cracking live set from Rockpalast also served as a timely reminder of what the band are capable of, and so the stage was set. And then ‘Right Between The Eyes’ landed on the digital doormat…………..
With anticipation and a little trepidation I dropped the needle and sat back. Ah, fuck this teasing, it’s the dog’s bollocks. In the space of thirty-eight minutes this little beauty of a record had the hairs on my neck stood up like a priest’s cock at choir practise. Thirty-fucking–eight minutes of air guitaring, ass shaking, fist pumping, hollering, motherfucking rock ‘n’ roll. From the slow build of opener ‘You Are One Of Us’ segueing straight into ‘Black Leather’ it’s full steam ahead. The five Chucks are on tip-top form. As Ransom whispers the title of the opening track you can’t help being taken back to the opening of ‘Apocalypse Dudes’ all those years ago. That might seem like a grandiose statement but that is the level this record attains throughout. ‘Black Leather’ was sneaked out as a teaser on Youtube a couple of weeks ago and might have been a case of putting the best bits in the trailer of a crap film, but oh no, whilst said song has a brilliant catchy riff, infinitely sing-along lyrics and some top notch guitar work, so does every one of the ten tracks on here. ‘White Devil’ and ‘Earth Shaking’ are strutting rock ‘n’ roll mothers with the trademark CNE stop-start chorus breaks and huge driving rhythms. ‘Under The Knife’ is less frantic but ups the ante on the brooding, atmospheric stakes. Again the lead break is full-on, foot on the monitor stuff and Ransom’s Udo on crack vocals urge you to either bang your head or pump your fist, or both. ‘Eaten Alive’ is, well, fucking stunning. Firing off on twin lead breaks, the song absolutely flies out of the traps, grabbing you by the scruff of the neck and making your arse groove like fuck. ‘Gratitude’ starts off a little awkwardly and for about five seconds seems like it could go a bit wonky, but then the Crybaby kicks in and all is well, and when the lyrics proclaim mid-song that “This song is about to kick your ass” they’re not wrong.
Hitting the back end of the record, ‘If I Could I Would’ is probably the most restrained song on the record, with an AC/DC riff and a stadium rock sensibility this song could get some serious airplay if any radio stations exist that don’t have shit between their ears. ‘The World Burns’ gets the strutting rawk back on the menu again with another chorus that needs to be hollered drunkenly into the early hours and a series of riffs and lead breaks that will have you believing that you are the air guitar god of all time. Now at this point I have to admit that first listens made me pass off ‘Midnight Strangler’ and the closing title track as nice but filler material, but what do you know, the fuckers have grown on me like the finest STD scabs. The first being a mid-paced brooder with subtle melodies akin to those Steve Jones used to pull off many moons ago, and the closer’s fuzzed-up riffs, infectious licks and catchiness that bloke who was temporarily in The Throbs (but wouldn’t dye his hair) seems to produce at will, make them both worthy climaxes to an album full of climaxes.
I do believe this record could really see Sweden’s finest mofos throw down the gauntlet to the rock ‘n’ roll Kings of Norway and take a rightful place at the very top table of dirty, filthy, punked-up rock ‘n’ fucking roll. Furthermore, with a fearsome live reputation, who knows how these songs will explode on stage. Be prepared and be very excited. My soft spot has turned very hard indeed!