“I Did Something Bad”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Execution and energy are everything in music. If you have those 2 qualities, you can overcome a lot of negativity and convert people to your product even if they’re not usually inclined to be a fan.  That’s exactly what The Erkonauts have done here.

This Swiss band featuring former members of Sybreed is firmly and squarely in the millennium metal style. Don’t expect to hear any 70’s or 80’s influence here…well, for the most part. But these guys put so much energy into what they do and execute their plan so flawlessly that they won me over to their camp. This is a super entertaining album marred only by a couple bits of filler. Imagine a cross between Strapping Young Lad, System of a Down and Meshuggah and you’ll almost be in Erko-land.

Any record that starts with a song called “The Great Ass Poopery” has got a huge mountain to climb from the start. And how does the band climb that mountain? By hitting you upside the head with a blistering bass/drum attack that turns into a tight, fast metal song. The sound is perfect throughout the album. So right away they overcome a real stupid song title. “Tony 5” gives us more of their heavy side, with a powerful guitar sound, thick riffing and clean melodic vocals. This band now has my attention.
The Erkonauts incorporate a lot of various influences into their millennium metal style. They are generally at their best when their aggression comes out. “Nola” is a real ass-kicker and after a goofy beginning featuring ukele and kiddy vocals, “9 is Better Than 8” rips with power like Strapping Young Lad in full flight. The weirdly named “Hamster’s Ghost House” starts with a rather typical nu-metal style but then surprises with a very moody solo section featuring bluesy guitar that wouldn’t be out of place on a Whitesnake album. I felt “Gog” and “Your Wife” kinda wound up as average fillers….the former being heavy but not memorable while the latter is a mostly acoustic ballad that sounds like a lot of modern “dad rock”. But the album recovers magnificently with the previously mentioned “9 Is Better Than 8” and ends with the two best songs, “Machine” and “Culbutos”. “Machine” is the picture perfect example of how to do a modern thrash song while “Culbutos” is a slower epic that finishes with truly atmospheric riffs and a killer guitar solo.

“I Did Something Bad” has a rather ironic title, considering it turned out pretty good. I don’t think metal fans whose tastes go no further than Saxon and Motorhead can skip it, but I personally enjoyed this one quite a bit.