My earliest memory of Overkill is an advert in Kerrang magazine for the ‘Fuck You’ e.p. In 1987. A garish green logo and an artistic impression of a hand giving a one fingered salute seemed to sum up what the band were about, as listening to them proved. Straight forward thrash that fitted in well with the likes of Anthrax, Testament and most of the Bay Area. Their new album titled “The Grinding Wheel” is set for release on February 10th, 2017 via Nuclear Blast Records.
I have to admit to not hearing much of them in the UK since the mid 90’s so I didn’t realize that The Grinding Wheel is their 18th full release. The album however sounds as fresh as ever, and before too long, I find my head nodding and my well honed air-drumming skills starting to kick in.
The first track, Mean Green Killing Machine gives you a taste of what to expect throughout, with no let up in energy or power until the epic closer, The Grinding Wheel, which is like the last, euphoric stretching after an extremely physical workout.
Written by original members D.D. Verni (bass) and singer Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth the album in part, reflects on their 40 or so years in the business, but without lamenting about the ‘good old days’. There are nods in the direction of Judas Priest among others on here too, but again, subtly done. I’ve been trying to come up with a list of highlights to give you lovely readers an idea of what to expect, but, and I know we’re not long into the year, but this is a pretty complete package and already in my list for ‘Best of 2017’. The drums (from Ron Lipnicki) throughout, but especially on Our Finest Hour, the lyrics of Let’s All Go to Hades, Goddamn Trouble and Red White And Blue, the guitar work from Dave Linsk and Derek Tailer from start to finish and the pin-point production from thrash veteran Andy Sneap brings it all together and makes it just one long (clocking in at over an hour) highlight.
As Blitz recently said in an interview, the best way to see what you think though, is to get a copy and press play.
1. Mean Green Killing Machine
2. Goddamn Trouble
3. Our Finest Hour
4. Shine On
5. The Long Road
6. Let’s All Go To Hades
7. Come Heavy
8. Red White And Blue
9. The Wheel
10. The Grinding Wheel
Bobby “Blitz” Ellsworth | vocals
Dave Linsk | lead guitars
D.D. Verni | bass
Derek “The Skull” Tailer |rhythm guitars
Ron Lipnicki | drums