Imagine the thundering ’70s sludge that would erupt from a Cuisinart containing Grand Funk Railroad, Blue Öyster Cult, Kiss and Molly Hatchet. That Raging Slab — a New York quintet led by two Washington DC escapees with roots in hardcore and art-funk and bottleneck guitarist Elyse Steinman — can make all this retro nonsense sound relevant today is no small achievement, but frequent dips into the speedmetal jug help.
Despite an ultra-trebly mix that levels the sonic abilities of a high-tech stereo system with those of an AM portable, Slabbage cranks. Slab’s molten fusion of chicken-fried metal and meaty ’70s power rock is exciting as hell, and singer/guitarist Greg Strzempka’s lyrics — chock full of transparent double entendres and celebrations of chemical recreation — are never less than prurient. The record is even packaged with its own nifty comic book.
Besides much better songwriting, the band’s self-titled major-label debut greatly benefits from Daniel Rey’s muscular production. “Don’t Dog Me,” “Joy Ride” and “Bent for Silver” steamroll past with all the force of a fleet of monster trucks, while “Sorry’s All I Got” possesses the kind of big fat hook .38 Special used to ride up the charts. All in all, Raging Slab is a wonderful reminder that not all guilty pleasures come from Sweden.