I’m gonna be honest, I don’t even know why I still call this category “On the Radar.” I should’ve changed the name to “Portland Likes Guitars” a long time ago, since that pretty much seems to be the scope of the thing lately. To wit, the trad metal of upstart trio Pinkzilla, who’ve got not only the most charming cover art I’ve seen from a self-releasing Oregonian band since the Witchasaurus Hex demo, but a sound that takes the rough cassette-ready production of Celtic Frost‘s glory days and melds it to the current groove aesthetic of their home base. That is: No matter how out front the guitar might be and is, bass matters.
And it’s hard not to admire that, especially when you consider that Pinkzilla‘s root of influence is from a time in metal when low end was basically an afterthought. One listen to “Bela Lugosi” from their 2011 self-titled EP, however, and you know they’re not just riffing out. The three-piece might have some of their modus in common with Portland exports Red Fang, and I guess one might argue the vocals on “Planet Caveman” share some echoing commonalities with the first Red Fang, but the guitar tone brings to mind Bathory and Megadeth more than anything so recent, and the bass backing the solo work is right out of your mom’s garage, which is where your hypothetical thrash band practiced in 1985 for the purposes of this analogy. So there.
As it’s been a while at this point since it was released (not that I didn’t love 2011 at the time, but I’m behind enough on 2012 that I don’t need to go even further back), but as the chugging charm of “Dark Eyes” and Pinkzilla‘s Pinkzilla in general piqued my headbanger’s interest, I thought I’d post the tracks from their Bandcamp for streaming and see if maybe they did the same for you. Feel free to leave a comment with any thoughts one way or another, or check in with the band on their Thee Facebooks and see what’s up. Right on:
Tags: Oregon, Pinkzilla, Portland, Unsigned bands