Against The Grain threw a rip-roaring release party packed with eager fans for their new album Road Warriors at Small’s in Hamtramck.

It was a smorgasbord of rock music at Small’s in Hamtramck as Against The Grain put together a fantastic array of bands to celebrate the release of their new album Road Warriors. People lined up outside the club earlier and were eager to pick up the new album which was limited to 45 vinyl albums on the initial pressing as well as on cd. National Rock Review had the opportunity to check out the new music before it was released and heaped praise on the new album. Before the first band took the stage, the energy level of the crowd was palpable.

With music that would have made Tony Iommi grin, Stone Ritual unleashed rumbling waves of doom to start the show. Their tone was deep and conjured images of the crushing hand of geologic time. For a relatively new band, they played with the authority of well-seasoned outfit. They got a great reception from the crowd. Fans of St. Vitus, Sleep, or Cathedral should be sure to go hear this band and feel the weight of the universe upon you.

Next up was the rocking punk gods of Chicago, Black Actress. This band tore into their set of raunchy punk rock with shark teeth gnashing. The energy level of this band was addictive. Their music was fun, fast, and wild. Black Actress set out to party hard with the crowd and they accomplished their goal. Fans were slamming, singing with each chorus, and having a ball. The band’s performance defines the gritty soul of rock and roll.

Having spoken with the burning bush on top of the mountain, Child Bite extolled the virtuals of manic music. One can imagine that if Frank Zappa had enjoyed punk and metal whipped into a frothy cream with a cherry on top, he would have been a big fan of Child Bite. Small’s was hot and sweaty as fans packed in tight to witness a pentecostal revival complete with speaking in tongues. Fans ate up every morsel of chaotic joy that the band could muster. It was a blissful rejoicing in the unusual.

The Skeemin No Goods h recently reunited and they were primed to tear shit up. Chuck Burns (drums), Ron Sakowski (bass), and John Speck (guitar/vocals) had the crowd in the palm of their hands as they jammed many of their tunes from their 2004 self-titled release. This band was a perfect pairing for this event as they meet the criteria of loud and fast rock. The pace was unrelenting as the band peeled through one blistering song after another. The Skeemin No Goods performance was as sharp as a tack. When you get the chance, go see them live and tell them to record another album.

A quick set change to swap out drums and Against The Grain was on stage and running full bore. From the first notes of “Afraid of Nothing” from Road Warriors, a mosh pit erupted and did not stop. You could tell by fans’ facial expression that they loved the new music and this band. It is without a doubt due to the energy and spirit that pours out of this them like a wave. Against The Grain played music they love with tenacity, grit, and a fire that burned with every note. Tunes such as “Run For Your Life,” “Night Time,” and “Nothing Left To Lose” sounded fantastic live with the searing dual guitars of Nick Bellomo and Kyle Davis, nimble bass lines of Chris Nowak, and the pulverizing drums of Rob Nowak.

This was an outstanding night of furious rock and roll at Small’s. Each band came to play and left everything on the sweat soaked floor. If you missed this show, you can catch Against The Grain on August 23, back at Small’s as they start off their tour with Atomic Bitchwax.

Against The Grain
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Child Bite
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Black Actress
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Stone Ritual
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Small’s
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About The Author

Chuck is a native Michigander. He grew up in Detroit, and later Pinckney. He now calls Ann Arbor home. Running is in Chuck’s blood. He has run several marathons and numerous other races. His favorite race is Dances with Dirt in Hell, Michigan. Chuck was first exposed to photography in 7th grade. He has been a photographer ever since, honing his skills shooting landscapes and most recently concerts. In addition to experiencing music from behind the camera, Chuck is a musician in his own right. He has been playing guitar since his teen years. He played in Detroit area metal band, Battalion, recorded two independent releases, and toured. Today when not covering concerts, you can find him online at his blog, Life In Michigan.

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