Hailing from the mean streets of Detroit, Artificial Agent is a modern edged hard rock band with a touch of 80â€™s metal.
Artificial Agent is one hell of a powerhouse live band, having my first introduction to the band seeing them open up for Steel Panther. Although the band likes to say they are, â€œmelting glam rock with heavy metal, one note at a time.â€ You would think of it more as straight forward hard rock combining both old and new school influences to create a sound that is classic metal for a new generation.
They have garnered a large female following calling themselves “Turbo Slutâ€™s” (taken from their song Turbo Slut). The song is about your classic groupie, but Artificial Agentâ€™s female following has turned it into a sect of the bandâ€™s fans. This devoted following attend all of their shows and some might call them the bandâ€™s unofficial street team as they help spread the word around about the band.
According to an interview, Brad Jendza did with Atomic Leg Drop Zine, he is a big believer in that if you want something done right, you do it yourself. Jendza further stated â€œArtificial Agent is about DIY, from the production of our shows to the album productions. We customize our instruments too. Karl applies his own drum wraps. I cover my bases in rhinestones, broken glass, or metal studs. We make our own costumes or have tailors that create them from our designs we draw up. Itâ€™s all hard work, but worth it.â€
It is this attitude which has made people take notice. The band formed in the summer of 2010, and quickly made a name for themselves in the Detroit music scene. This has given them the opportunity to share the stage with acts like: Vince Neil, Stryper, Ace Frehley, Eagles of Death Metal, Alice Cooper, Night Ranger, Queensryche, Warrant, Poison, Buckcherry, and Steel Panther.
Mike Elgertâ€™s guitar work is reminiscent of the heavy simplicity of John Christ mixed with the delicate intricacies of George Lynch. Brad Jendzaâ€™s bass guitar rhythms remind me of some old-school Kyuss mixed with a modern flare of Velvet Revolver. Derek Jendza snarlâ€™s and growlâ€™s out the words with such vigor that he sounds happy and angry all at the same time. And, Karl Crafton is the glue of the band who keeps the backbeat flowing and the band in sync with one another.
Brain Grenade is an excellent outing for Artificial Agent and worthy to have in your CD collection.
The band recently released a new album, Brain Grenade. The first track, “Master Blaster,” begins with the thump of guitar similar toÂ Zakk Wylde, but switches to a classic KISS like groove. Lyrics like â€œMaster Blaster, I sent you to the rafters, Master Blaster, Your middle name is disaster,â€ this catchy song has lots of attitude and some in your face guitar work making it the perfect song to start the CD out with.
Next up is the title track, “Brain Grenade.” A heavier groove, this song starts out with a classic bluesy Black Sabbath feel while the vocals remind me of the darker side of Alice in Chains.
“Out Of Time” has a more modern edged rock sound similar to that of Papa Roach or Velvet Revolver and a touch of Queens of the Stone Age. The bass line rolls along while Derekâ€™s aggressive sounding vocals are sung with such conviction.
“Another Punch in the Face” hits you, right in the face. The repetitive guitar intro feels like a runaway train not able to stop on the tracks. This song rocks from the first note until the very last note. The background vocals are a pleasant contrast to Derekâ€™s growling vocals. Derek seems to growl more on this one giving it an old-school mid 80â€™s Detroit hardcore vibe. With lyrics like â€œYou better watch the things you say the floor will meet with your face,â€ you canâ€™t help but get pumped up.
“Psychomotor Agitation” is a pure rocker with a catchy chorus that gets you singing along. What a cool name for a song title. Wasnâ€™t sure what Psychomotor Agitation was so I looked it up out of curiosity. According to Wikipedia, “Psychomotor Agitation is a series of unintentional and purposeless motions that stem from mental tension and anxiety of an individual.” This is a great song with lots of attitude but the chorus keeps it playful and fun.
“Some Things Never Die” has an Alice Cooper vibe to it, especially during the chorus. Itâ€™s creepy just like Mr. Cooper.
“Not For The Innocent” is a cover of the classic KISS song, but Mike’s sound is more like George Lynch on this one with his guitar playing. You never realize how much KISS sounds like Dokken (or Dokken sounds like KISS) on this one. Itâ€™s a good thing Artificial Agent pay homage to both bands as they pull off this cover song perfectly.
It seems hard for most dynamic live bands to capture their energetic live sound in the studio. Donâ€™t get me wrong, Brain Grenade is an excellent outing for Artificial Agent and worthy to have in your CD collection. It just feels like a little something is missing. Not sure if itâ€™s the recording, the mixing, or the mastering. The band is tight and the songwriting is excellent but the sound just doesnâ€™t have that â€˜popâ€™ to it. Either way, I dig this album and recommend giving it a listen.
Artificial Agent consists of Derek Jendza (vocals), Brad Jendza (bass guitar and vocals), Mike Elgert (guitar), and Karl Crafton (drums).