On Friday, New York City’s old-school punk, rock ‘n roll and heavy metal hybrid Vandalizer released their three-song EP Ride via Metal Assault Records. Mixing 1980’s New Wave Of British Heavy Metal with the sounds of ’70s Punk N’ Roll, Ride is one hell of a listen. Issued on cassette tape and on all digital platforms, Ride is available now in the format of your choice along with exclusive merchandise bundles. (Vandalizer, 2021)
Vandalizer first entered the scene with their debut EP New Curse in 2015, followed by the Desensitize EP in 2017. “Some people are kinda confused,” says Vandalizer mainspring Mike McWilliams. “‘Is it metal?’ It’s too punk to be metal, and it’s too metal to be punk. It’s kinda in the middle.”
The only reason anyone might scratch their head is if they know McWilliams’ past thumping bass guitar in old school punk bands ranging from Houston’s Teen Cool and Pure Rubbish to a stint in the U.S. Bombs in the ‘00s. But Vandalizer’s New Wave Of British Heavy Metal throwback sound has now become his focus, allowing his singing and guitar work to shine.
“I’ve never really done that before on any other albums,” he explains. “I’ve always been a songwriter and singer in pretty much every other band I’ve been in. But I’ve never been the front man nor the guitar player. This is my first stab at songwriting/playing guitar/singing in a band.”
The newly released EP amply displays’ McWilliams’ well-honed chops on every instrument apart from drums. Sacha Michaels manages the drums. Tracks like “Dream Hunter” and “Time Can’t Count” are full-on riff assaults that spark memories of classic Judas Priest. The title track is also a standout; an atmospheric, keyboard-drenched power ballad that mostly seethes, before reaching an explosive chorus. Ride makes a notable and instantly satisfying impression as the first release from Vandalizer on Metal Assault Records, while also leaving anticipation at an all-time high for their full length album already confirmed to follow in early 2022.
“Ride is the perfect soundtrack music for blasting in your ‘81 Camaro as you and your buddies execute smokin’ burnouts and pass around the hash pipe.” – Tim Stegall, Alternative Press magazine
Mike McWilliams: Vocals/Guitar
Stosh McMichael: Drums/Backup Vocals
Sam Harris: Bass/Backup Vocals
Ride track listing:
1. Time Can’t Count
2. Dream Hunter
3. A Ride Home