Review by Rick Ossian
To those of you in the know, the Nash Rambler was a vehicle of some repute. This outfit, who named themselves after the aforementioned vehicle, formed in Vancouver, British Columbia in 2007. They play rawk and roll.
They are “a raging four-piece with an arsenal of sweaty, blistering three-minute power post punk anthems. Apparently the best-kept secret in Vancouver, but word is getting out“. Gnash Rambler are Brad Mitchell on drums, Regina Australialus on bass and vocals, Nick Venditti on guitar and vocals and Dave Shannon on lead guitar and back up vocals. They released an EP “Nasty, Cutish and Short” in 2009 and began work on a full-length, Once and For All, in 2011. This is their self-titled debut. They have shared the stage with Helmet, The Melvins, Poison Idea and Jello Biafra. They refer to their sound as “hooky punk rock/metal-tinged power pop”.
No One Gives a Fuck is the opener for these recordings, and is a punchy start to things. It is, as most of the tracks here are, short and sweet and to the point.
Dues and Don’ts reminds me of a totally fucking heavy Stray Cats, like hillbilly heavy metal, if you will. Lots of noise and big punk/metal riffs.
Bad Karma, the first single from the record, is a bit longer, but again features a speedy, uptempo delivery and big riffs. According to Nick, it is about “how friendships and alliances can often be worthless than the paper they were printed on. Always read the damn contract.”.
Downtown Rock features big everything; big drums, big bass and big guitars. There is a nice lead guitar solo at the 1:45 mark and a little instrumental breakdown at 2:45. These blokes are consistent if nothing else.
Buick Spyder Beyond Our Means is another number with a very quick tempo. There is high-speed riffing and lots of busy bass and drum work. The guitars are good, and do a bit of galloping like so many of our other hard rock and heavy metal friends. At 1:20, things kick into an even faster gear for us, and at 2:45 there is a shift into Riff City territory. At about three minutes the vocals kick in, and at 4:15 there is some serious guitar shredding going on. This track is all about the bass. Go Regina!
Buick and Blues For Boogie, the next track, are the longer numbers at five and change apiece. They squeeze a lot into these lengthier tracks, as yo will hear if you get a chance to listen. Blues features one of those spooky intros with acoustic guitars and a nice thunderstorm going in the background. It also ends the same way. In between we get lots of nice storyteller mode stuff. I was reminded of Jason and the Scorchers or The Blasters, only a bit more metallic. Three minutes in finds us enjoying another lead guitar solo. There are also some notable bass and drum licks here. There is even a bit of harmonica for all of you blues purists out there.
Jello Mold features some cool vocal ranting. This is a sort of ‘boogie’ metal, if yo will. Killer drums and bass, with a wicked growl at 1:25 followed by some powerful guitars around two minutes in. This is flat-out testosterone rock, with super big Riff City power chords abounding. “Gonna cut your soul from a Jell-O mold/ Nasty vicious funny and cold”. Kind of scary when you consider the delivery and the vocals…
Doin’ It All Wrong is a big jam with heavy riffing. It is simple but strong. There is some shredding at 1:30, first on the guitar and then briefly by the bass. This and the follow-up, I’m Het, are both a bit comedic, and they are short, heavy punk stuff. “You’re so hot, I almost forgot!”
PAX Americana features another creepy intro, plenty of big bass, vocals and guitar. A nice shred at the two-minute mark, plus a bit of a rap/rant at 2:45. Some of these tunes give one the impression that Gnash‘s tongues are very firmly implanted in cheek…
Man Over is another speedy number with punk riffing plus big bass. At one minute in there is some serious shredding and rhythm riffing. I caught myself doing a bit of headbanging during this one. Another shredding solo pops in at 1:55.
The closer for today, Sex Beat, is another heavy metal/punk slammer. No point in letting up now, right? Lots of guitars, big bass and drums – in fact, I caught myself uttering ‘wow’ at the bass more than once!
In short, if you like your tunes hot, hard and heavy, with more than a bit of speed, then Gnash Rambler may be right up your proverbial alley. They mix punk and power pop and heavy metal to great effect on this, their full-length debut.