"Freedom From the Known"

By Don S. MacCobb

New York City's hard rocking' trio (now a quartet) Thinning the Herd have been around for the better part of a decade, they've seen many members come and go from their ranks, but there was no way they could have expected drummer Rick Cimato not to live to see the release of this album.  However, much like the hard as nails sound they deliver, the band didn't submit, didn't knuckle under in the face of tragedy. They just kick tragedy in the balls, ram a fist down its gaping maw, recruit two new members and keep on rolling.  But before things even got to that point, they recorded 'Freedom from the Known'.

At the risk of sounding like it's a one-note wonder, this album blazes through ten high energy numbers that you could call stoner metal, sliding often into proto-metal territory with a punk rock snarl.  But Thinning the Herd don’t waste any time on genre scenester-pleasing bullshit, they just explode through these ten brisk tracks with crunchy riff after crunchy riff.  They are at their best when they run screaming through a track, then halve things down to a mean stomp.

The one drawback here is the recording itself which doesn't quite capture the enormity of the band.  It's an unfortunate thing, but in the end, the songs stand or fall on the strength of the music itself, not on the recording and TTH's muscular riffs stand on sturdy legs even as the world around them goes wobbly.

So, take the top down, pin the dog’s ears back, crush the pedal under foot and know what it is to be free. This New York City trio will blow your hair back with a hard rockin’ onslaught of atomic proportions. There’s enough headbanging fury on this disc to overrun the most efficient M*A*S*H* unit.  Just make sure to play it loud.