If you ever needed a quick injection of hard rock to quench your head-banging fix, you could do a lot worse than local band Her Bed of Thorns. Brewed from the catacombs of The Great White North–Encinitas–Her Bed of Thorns’ self-titled release brings quality, if not original, heavy metal packaged in a compact 22-minute, six-song EP that is perfect for any short car or trolley ride to and from SDSU.
If you enjoy professional and talented songwriting, Her Bed of Thorns does not disappoint. Drummer Will Thompson brings thunderous drumming expected of heavy metal, and guitarist Tim Nicholson’s variety of melodic riffs and screeching solos, especially on “No Reason” and “Wreckless.” Nicholson also tends to stay away from the characteristic and, in my opinion, cliché palm-muting sound (chugging) that is overused by most metal bands. Singer/guitarist Chris Irick’s gruff vocals are not on their own spectacular, but compliment the music nicely.
The song “No Reason,” which has the most plays on the band’s Myspace page, may be the best track on the album. Unfortunately, the combination of the chorus effect on the intro’s guitar chords, Irick’s Scott Stapp-esque vocals, and the overall slow tempo on this track makes it sound like a Creed knockoff, which is never a good thing. For these reasons, my favorite track is probably “Today,” which features emotional guitar work by Nicholson with beautiful piano accompaniment.
My only real criticism of Her Bed of Thorns is the general lack of originality. Irick sounds like a mix of James Hetfield of Metallica and Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots. Overall, the music sounds like a mix of Metallica and Alice and Chains, which makes sense since Her Bed of Thorn’s listed influences are Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, and, get this, Alice and Chains. It also makes sense why the first track, “Bad Girl,” sounds like a Velvet Revolver song. I guess fans of heavy metal and hard rock aren’t looking for anything especially mindblowing or new. I would just like to see a little more originality from a band whose own Facebook page states they are “something different” in “a music scene where most bands pretty much share the same sound or variations of it.” But, then again, what is original these day?.
Overall, if you enjoy this type of music and the familiar, you will enjoy Her Bed of Thorns. Check them out on usual social media stops or live at the Bar Leucadian on September 16.
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