“My 10 Favorite” is a feature that gives artists and musicians a chance to share some of the music (or art) that has inspired them on their creative journey.
For more than a decade, Electric Vengeance has been bringing their high-energy punk/metal assault to the Dallas-Fort Worth metal scene. Last years’ EP, Stories of Greed, Sex, & Murder, showed that the band’s songwriting continues to mature while still maintaining their feral charge and unhinged aggression. Indeed, if you’ve caught the bands live performance or listened to any of their releases, you know that they pull no punches, musically or lyrically.
The band has recently released a music video for their song “Angel of Dirt,” from the Greed, Sex, & Murder EP. Shot by Upgraded Underground, the video captures the intensity of the bands live performance and the energy they create with the crowd. If this video doesn’t make you long for witnessing live music, or mixing it up in the pit, nothing can save you.
Known for melding together punk and metal, it only made sense to ask the band to provide their personal list of those albums that have inspired them. Each member of the band (Bran Damage [vocals/guitar], Trey Lunabomber [drums/vocals], and newest member Günther [bass]) provides selections, ranging from the Stranglers 1977 debut LP to Enforcer’s 2013 rager, Death by Fire. But, there’s more than a few surprises in between.
The Stranglers – Rattus Norvegicus
Released during the British Punk explosion of 1977, The Stranglers’ Rattus Norvegicus was quite different than punk releases of the time. The keyboard wizardry of Dave Greenfield accompanied by J.J. Burnel’s insane bass lines and tone instantly puts this record into its own realm. Aggressive, lots of attitude; a dark, melodic, and intriguing album. When we discovered this album 20 years ago, my brothers and I would listen to it while studying the album cover. We would wonder, “What’s up with all the animal heads? Why does J.J. Burnel look like a mannequin? And why is frontman/guitarist Hugh Cornwell so far in the back that you can barely see him?” I love the mystique of this album along with it’s amazing musicianship and song composition. The Stranglers were a huge influence on me when I first picked up a guitar and they continue to be a great inspiration. – Bran Damage
Iron Maiden – Seventh Son of a Seventh Son
In my opinion, Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is one of Iron Maiden’s most atmospheric albums to date and one of my favorites. Every time I listen to this album, it takes me on a musical journey. The amazing composition of the songs, the vocal melodies and range, the lyrics, guitar harmonies, insane drumming, and unparalleled bass lines makes this record one of my all-time favorites, and it continues to be an inspiration to me when composing music. – Bran Damage
Enforcer – Death by Fire
This album is straight fire! It has such a classic, old-school feel to it. Death by Fire has all the ingredients for a rippin’ heavy metal album: mega metal riffage, melodic solos and harmonies, super-catchy lyrics, powerful vocals, wicked bass lines, and maniacal drumming. After listening to this record, you’ll catch yourself singing the tunes throughout your day. I was listening to this album along with Diamonds a lot while we were writing “Super Shredder.” – Bran Damage
Iron Maiden – Brave New World
It was close between Somewhere In Time and Brave New World, but Brave New World is special to me because when it was released, I was 10 years old. By that time, I had absorbed most of Steve Harris’ previous work and was excited that I could actually drive to the store (with some help) and buy Iron Maiden’s new album. I particularly enjoy Steve’s “wet” bass tone on the album, I could listen to every track on that album on repeat. – Günther
Primus – Sailing the Seas of Cheese
When I purchased this album, I was about 22 years old and remember being completely inspired by Les Claypool’s bass work. It made me want to get out of my comfort zone and experiment with bass techniques that I had never attempted before. This yielded tremendous results and made me a much better player to date. – Günther
Overkill – Ironbound
If you want in-your-face bass tone and juicy bass licks, you can’t go wrong with Overkill. A buddy of mine burned me a copy of this album when it was released in 2010 and I haven’t looked back since. I absolutely love the tracks, sound quality, and overall arrangement of this album. I like to blast this album after a long day or if I’m just in the mood for something tasty to listen to. It inspires me to want to grab my bass every time (Not unlike someone tearing into a Twix or Snickers bar while they’re on a “diet”). That’s the kind of fulfillment this record gives me. – Günther
S.O.D. – Speak English Or Die
Abrasive, raw, ridiculous, and un-stifled by political correctness. This is an outrageous crossover thrash album parody of sorts that a friend of mine at work traded me way back in the early 2000’s. Upon listening, I was immediately enamored with their extremely heavy, mean guitar crunch and inspired by their off-color, humorous lyrics. To me, S.O.D. was Scott Ian and Charlie Benante’s goof-off band, which was edgier and ballsier than Anthrax. Charlie Benante’s straightforward, pile-driving drum work still amazes me to this day, especially his stomping, single pedal technique which I’ve emulated occasionally in some of our songs, one of which is during the chorus of ”Homicidal Relapse’.’ Lyrically, it masters the art and balance of expressing controversial topics and opinions freely in a healthy, cathartic, satirical way, which is what I aim to achieve when writing lyrics for the band. – Trey Lunabomber
Macabre – Sinister Slaughter
In the Summer of 2001, I discovered Macabre purely by accident. I was forming a band with some high school friends and considered naming our band Macabre. I entered Macabre into Google to see if there were any evidence of a band with this name in existence, and lo and behold, it led me to the discography of Chicago Murder Metal band, Macabre, established in 1985. Discovering Macabre was a double-whammy for me; I devoured true crime books and documentaries and I loved metal, and they just so happened to combine both, writing songs exclusively about serial killers and mass murderers. Sinister Slaughter is characterized by short, grindy, punky, thrash songs with unbelievable double bass by drummer, Dennis The Menace. He inspired me greatly to pick up the drums, playing with feel and hitting as hard as possible, although I’ll never remotely be as skilled as him, nor do I aspire to be. His power is definitely felt on this record. And singer/guitarist Corporate Death tackles the unsettling topic of real-life murderers with hilarious, witty lyrics and overlong, borderline-cheesy song titles such as ”What The Heck Richard Speck, Eight Nurses You Wrecked”, and ”Albert Was Worse Than Any Fish In The Sea.” The songs I wrote lyrically and on guitar for Electric Vengeance, ”Holmes Made A Killing” and ”Beaten To Death For Exercise,” are an overt homage to Macabre. – Trey Lunabomber
Ramones – The Ramones
Conventional, catchy, to the point, energetic, and terribly fun. A classic. This has been my go-to punk album forever, whether it’s to clear my head and lift my spirits, or to refocus my perspective on playing drums and writing music. Tommy Ramone is a major influence of mine because he became a drummer out of necessity for The Ramones, who’s tryouts blew their auditions because they couldn’t or wouldn’t grasp the simple 4/4 beat their songs required, and instead, tried to be over the top and impressive. Tommy Ramone’s efficient, unpretentious style translated perfectly for The Ramones on their debut album. He had good instincts and knew how to serve a song. His approach was ego-less. His driving beat was infectious and could be applied universally to damn-near any rock song. Tommy wasn’t a drummer, but merely a guy who played drums for a band who needed a drummer, which is exactly how I wound up behind the kit. – Trey Lunabomber
Cannibal Corpse – Eaten Back To LifeI’ve been fascinated with Cannibal Corpse since I bought their album, Gallery Of Suicide on cassette 20 years ago. Certainly, this album paved the way for me to discover their earlier releases during the era of Chris Barnes. Barnes, who mysteriously hid behind his humidified, fried-out hair most of the time in band photos, yet penned absolutely vile and disgusting lyrics, didn’t repulse me, but drew me in with intrigue. Eaten Back To Life is yet another raw, visceral album on my list with a murky production sound; however, this one concerns itself with providing the fine details of family car accidents, eating medical cadavers, and impregnating the dead. Weird and obscure with mistakes left in, it’s like the musical equivalent of a B-Horror movie meeting the Faces Of Death documentary. Chris Barnes’s writing style on Eaten Back To Life has influenced our recent experimentation with death-oriented lyrics, such as the song, ”Blood Spatter Redecorator” on our latest EP, Stories of Greed, Sex, & Murder. Paul Mazurkiewicz I credit as another constructive influence on this record in that his drumming is uninhibited, honest, and enthusiastic, which completely shines through. He’s another musician who doesn’t consider himself a percussionist in any sense, but rather a person who plays drums for a band, which I relate to. Mazurkiewicz is also an extremely talented and underrated lyricist as well. Check out his lyrics to the song, “Gallery Of Suicide.” They’re incredibly engaging and give me chills every time. – Trey Lunabomber