Review by Greg Maki
This—this is what I need in my life. More music that, when someone asks you what it is or what it sounds like, you can reply with one simple, glorious word: metal.
Pounder—featuring extreme metal veteran Matt Harvey (Exhumed, Gruesome, Expulsion) on rhythm guitar and vocals, bassist Alejandro Corredor (Nausea LA, live bassist for Vallenfyre) and lead guitarist Tom Draper (Carcass, ex-Angel Witch, Crowning Glory)—draws much of its influence from the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. And there’s a reason why the leaders of that movement—acts such as Judas Priest and Iron Maiden—often are referred to as “classic metal” now. They’re largely responsible for shaping the sound and look of metal that we know today, building on the foundation Black Sabbath laid to help metal evolve into the many subgenres and offshoots that followed.
Pounder then is a throwback to a grand tradition of rapid-fire riffs and screaming solos, with Harvey’s raspy, melodic vocals at times sounding a bit like Lemmy in a higher register. Normally, in a review, I single out a few standout tracks, but on “Uncivilized,” the band’s debut full-length, each of the eight songs feels essential and sounds like it could have come from any time between 1980 and the present day. There’s a timeless quality about these compositions, the playing and the production, and a purity that comes from the band members ignoring trends to make music they love. In a word, this is metal.
(Hells Headbangers, February 22, 2019)