James Ryder – Vocals, guitar. Andrew Bloch – Guitar. Dennis Torrent – Bass. Matt Hass – Drums.
Artist location: Queens, New York, USA.
4 out of 5 stars rating.
Reviewed by David.
- Do Or Die.
- Slave To Love.
- When It All Comes Down.
- Don’t Lose Your Heart.
Ryder is a band that has not been around long at all (a mere three months in fact) though it is made up of artists from a previous band, yet has quite a strong backlist to their name of artists and bands that they have supported including, but not limited to, Ted Poley, Joe Lynn Turner, Faster Pussycat and Bulletboys. An impressive list for any melodic rock fan, to be sure.
Not only have they supported such legendary acts but their first EP, set to drop on January 1st 2017, was engineered and produced by none other than Anthony Esposito. The name sound familiar to you? Well it should. Esposito is one of the founding members of a small band some of you may have heard of by the name of Lynch Mob. While no longer with the band he has stayed busy over the years playing bass for the likes of Ace Frehley and DiMarzio. You can now find him as bassist for the supergroup Red Dragon Cartel.
With the backing of Esposito and the bands that they have supported it shows us that this four man outfit have something worth sitting up and listening to.
I was graciously given an advance copy of this EP for review purposes by frontman, and band namesake, James Ryder. After listening through it several times I would have to say that their influences of bands like Thin Lizzy, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath are apparent with even a hint of Metallica thrown in there on the opening track, ‘Do Or Die‘.
Ryder’s vocals bare a passing resemblance (at times) to folks like James Hetfield of Metallica and Sully Erna of Godsmack. Now before you listen to them and wonder just what the hell I am smoking here to make me hear that, let me clarify. He does not sound like them vocally so much as it is just the tone of his voice that is similar to theirs. He has that same lower register, rougher vocal delivery as both of those singers. As such Ryder does not possess much of a range vocally. However with this heavier, more modern rock sounding music they are writing there is really no call for any piercing high notes so his voice works very well with it.
The band sounds great and are obviously a talented group of guys gathered here. My one complaint, actually I won’t even call it a complaint so much as a preference, is there could have been more guitar solos. Don’t get me wrong, they are present, and the ones here are good, they are just not that long and with this style of music it just begs for a nice, wailing guitar solo to break out.
The first three tracks are all heavy, hard hitting tracks. ‘Do Or Die‘ has a slight Metallica vibe to it as mentioned earlier and is easily the strongest track here. The final track is a bit slower and would be the closest thing to a ballad as this EP comes.
These guys are good and just setting out on their journey and based on their accomplishments thus far they are going far.
Check out the EP, coming January 1st, 2017.