Wayne Griffith, the leader of Machine Guns and Motorcycles is a smart guy. He has assembled one of the best lineups of Indy rockers and he writes songs that play to this band's strengths. Drummer Mark Cutsinger and bassist John Zeps are local legends that effortlessly lock into a groove as only old buddies can. Dave Lawson, Cutsinger's bandmate in the Zero Boys, blends his buzzsaw guitar sound perfectly with Griffith's own towering guitar chops.
As such, the band's latest album is a breathless rush of straight-up rock and roll that no one's really done anything noteworthy with since maybe Buckcherry's first record.
Time Bomb is front-loaded with a great blast of songs that stick in the craw. "Time Bomb" kicks this affair off with some nice meaty riffage; later, tunes like "Swagger" and "Let's Roll" keep the party rolling along. "Downtown," with tight harmonies, is the first of a pair of great songs that make this album so enjoyable.
But the real ass-kicker on here is "Superjaded," a catchy, rocking, flawless kind of song that gets a band noticed.
Time Bomb's flaws include weaker songs on the album like "Shadows and Dust" and "Heavy Metal Days" that follow the same template as the rest of the album. It would be nice to see this great band challenged and pushed to greater heights rather than playing the same kind of mid-tempo hi-energy rock to varying degrees of success
If you go:
Machine Guns and Motorcycles with The Lickers and The Vibrolas
Saturday, August 27
Melody Inn, 3826 N. Illinois St.,
9 p.m., $5, 21+