Hailing from Brisbane, Australia, Speedracer (presumably inspired by the manga/anime series of the same name) are a rock band in the same vein as bands like Queens of the Stone Age, Stone Temple Pilots, and Guns N’ Roses. Their latest release Deadly Breed is certainly a showcase of those influences, as the majority of tunes on here will most likely remind you of other bands and songs you’ve heard before.
The record kicks off with “Boltfinger.” It’s pretty much your standard opening on an album like this. You’ve got your bevy of heavy instrumentation, but not so heavy as to be considered “too metal.” It’s pretty much as radio friendly as you’d expect. Imagine a lighter, post-sell-out Avenged Sevenfold, and you’ll get the idea. I was super bored with this track. Luckily, things pick up quickly when the next track “Cry to the Heavens” kicks in. They could’ve easily dropped “Boltfinger” as the opener and put this one instead. The riffs are more head-bang worthy (is that even a term?), yet still catchy enough for your average rock fan to enjoy. “Shoulda Seen it Coming” sounds like it could be a Stone Temple Pilots B-side, while “Deadly Breed” has that Sunset Strip from the 80s vibe going on that I found rather enjoyable. Jason (vocals) has that Axl Rose meets Scott Weiland sort-of voice that acts as the perfect forefront to music like this. The rest of the record essentially follows the same pattern throughout. Heavy-ish verse, catchy choruses, wicked guitar solos, rinse and repeat. Interestingly enough, I’d normally consider that a real negative, but with a record like this, its fine. The rock tunes on here may be a little plain in nature, but they’re fun to listen to.
If you’re looking for complete originality in your rock music, you aren’t going to get it with Speedracer, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They’re clearly a group of really talented individuals who play really tight, up-tempo, fun rock music. That being said, there are a shit-ton of other rock bands doing the same thing. There’s nothing on here that makes them stand apart from other bands making the exact same type of music. But the bottom line is that if you’re a fan of the average, radio-friendly rock band, then you’ll probably dig Speedracer. I may find myself adding this to a house party playlist, but it’s probably not something I’d ever listen to on my own personal time.
Written by Dominic Abate
*edited by Kate Erickson