ARTIST: Speedealer + ALBUM: Blue Days Black Nights + LABEL: Hand Drawn Records + RELEASE DATE: MAY 06, 2019
It’s been 15 years since Speeadealer released their last album, Bleed. Since then, Jeff Hirshberg has decided to remain in the studio for his guitar contributions and has handed vocal duties over to Daniel Barron (The Swingin’ Dicks). Further, Ricky Pearson (The Buck Pets) has taken over bass duties. Longtime guitarist Eric Schmidt remains in the fold, as does drummer Harden Harrison. In fact, Schmidt, Harrison, and Pearson all play in the band Hint of Death, so it makes sense that as musicians came and went, Harrison and Schmidt knew who to call to fill the position. But, this line-up of the band has been performing live since 2016, so they’ve had plenty of time to gel. What’s more, they’ve written 10 killer tracks for this long overdue release.
Blue Days Black Nights is quintessential Speedealer. There’s hardcore punk (“Losing My Shit,” “Shut Up,” and the title track), there’s some more metal-ish material (“Nothing Left To Say,” “Main Mast”), a little sludge (“A Reckoning”), and some straight up Kiss style arena rock (“War Nicht Genug,” “Sold Out”). The lead single, “Rheumatism,” blends the bands punk and metal leanings together into a juggernaut of head-banging, tempo-changing madness. One of the best songs on the album, and an excellent choice for a single, “Rheumatism” should convince any doubters that the decade and a half wait for new material has been worth it. Of course, “Never New,” the album opener is a total barn-burner that reintroduces the band mercilessly. I’m not gonna say it sounds like Motorhead, but it sounds like Motorhead. The fast tempo and blazing guitars, bass, and drums would certainly win-over any edge lord metalhead. “Nothing Left To Say” pushes the band into extreme territory with Barron’s maniacal vocals and Harrison’s relentless drumming, another album highlight.
Individually, the band members sound great from first song to last. Schmidt and Hirshberg’s guitar playing is spot-on and their leads and solos on tracks like “Sold Out” and “Shut Up” are hot. Both tasteful and scorching, these dudes know how to compliment a song with their guitar playing, rather than having the song be a platform to noodle around the guitar neck aimlessly. Harrison propels the album forward throughout, whether it’s the on-a-dime tempo changes on songs like “Rheumatism,” “Main Mast,” or “A Reckoning,” or his subtle, yet brilliant cymbal work on “Losing My Shit.” Several songs on the album highlight Pearson’s bass playing, be it his killer tone on the intro to “Nothing Left To Say” or generally on “Rheumatism,” “A Reckoning,” and “Main Mast.” Whether he’s singing, screaming, or growling, Barron makes his case as the new voice of the band. Having seen him perform with the band a few times, I knew he was good, but the album solidifies his role.
If you have ever called yourself a Speedealer fan, Blue Days Black Nights will only reinforce your fervor. You should go ahead and schedule your appointment for a Speedealer tattoo posthaste. If you’ve always wondered about Speedealer, but haven’t taken the plunge, it is recommended you do so now. This is album is easily one of our favorite releases of 2019. While various sub-genres of rock and metal are touched on, this is a cohesive album that doesn’t aim to please everyone, rather is simply the band being exactly who they are and delivering what they’re known for – balls out, ferocious rock and roll.
The band is hitting the road this month with the mighty Supersuckers (tour dates below) prior to returning home for an album release show at Three Links. It’s in your best interest to buy this album and make your way to one of their shows.
– J. Kevin Lynch
Speedealer w/ The Supersuckers Tour Dates
5/15 Vancouver BC at Rickshaw Theatre
5/16 Seattle,WA at El Corazon
5/17 Tacoma,WA at Jazzbones
5/18 Eugene,OR at The CiderHouse at Wildcraft Cider Works
5/19 Portland,OR at Dante’s
5/21 Reno,NV at The Saint
5/22 Oakland,CA at Starline Social Club
5/23 Santa Cruz,CA at Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz
5/24 Morro Bay,CA at The Siren
5/25 Los Angeles, CA at The Echo
5/26 San Diego,CA at Soda Bar
5/27 Costa Mesa,CA at The Wayfarer
6/1 Dallas, TX at Three Links, Album Release Show w/ Duell & Amplified Heat