CD Review of Stray This Way by Enamel

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Stray This Way
starstarstarno starno star Label: Illin-Noise Recordings
Released: 2007

Stray This Way is the second album from Springfield, Ill., power trio Enamel, and it’s a hard-rocking affair that brings to mind bands such as Chevelle, Incubus, A Perfect Circle, the Foo Fighters and King’s X. The band has played the Vans Warped Tour and opened for acts such as Breaking Benjamin, Shinedown and Silvertide.

Guitarist/vocalist/bandleader Kevin Wasmer has no shortage of sharp riffs and the self-produced album has a heavy sound that will make your speakers pulsate. Bassist Zack Grey and drummer Sam Ganci are new additions and prove themselves more than capable. The band’s MySpace page declares their sound to be like “Duran Duran and Iron Maiden’s bastard love child.”

“Beat It Out” starts things off with a bang, as the trio lays down some heavy riffs with tight precision. Likewise, songs such as “The Ladder” and “West and Southwest” find Wasmer and Grey laying down dual melody lines in hard-rocking fashion. “Underwing” mixes things up with some nifty riffs over a more syncopated beat that recalls some 311-style percussion.

“Picking Up Glass” finds Wasmer sounding somewhat like Incubus’ Brandon Boyd, but the song never explodes. Grey leads the way on “Settling” with a groovy low end that makes Wasmer’s riffs sound stellar, but the emo-ish chorus lacks the huge hook that the verses lead you to believe is coming.

If there’s anything holding Enamel back, it’s that lack of truly hooky choruses, and that Wasmer’s voice isn’t always quite up to the par of today’s premier hard rock vocalists. But the band definitely has talent, and there can be no doubting Enamel’s ability to deliver powerful tunes.

~Greg M. Schwartz