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This record sounds like the band took an eight-track recorder into a dark Birmingham dungeon and bashed out two songs in a fast, brutal and dirty session, after a late night of raising adrenaline levels by hanging out with Napalm Death. Singer Reed Bremmer sounds like the band's very namesake on both songs, but the instrumentation and singing are stronger and more distinct on the "Hell and Back" side. On the surface, Speedwolf isn't breaking new ground, and easy comparisons could be made to early Motörhead and the new wave of British heavy metal. But the band's songs have a sway and ferocity that place them firmly outside the popular currents of metal, and this release is the better for it.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.

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