Droid are poised to destroy. Their assault stems from a musical skeleton fused by rapid-fire riffs, wicked power grooves and a violent, hardcore crash. On their self-titled Emotional Syphon Recordings debut, the Long Beach, CA quintet embrace a bludgeoning aesthetic that pummels, punishes and pushes the boundaries of heavy metal. Over the course of the album, Jamie Teissere and Bruce Child's guitars thrash with a syncopated bone-snapping crunch. Drummer Nick McWells blasts a barrage of deadly double bass, while the bass rhythm remains bolted down by Duke (Ex-Deadlights). This core allows Vocalist James Eason to channel an honest brutality and propel the entire package into a dark, violent and cathartic realm.
This debut marks the first release for Emotional Syphon, founded by revolutionary Korn guitarist James "Munky" Shaffer. After catching a Droid show at Hollywood's historic Whisky-A-Go-Go, Munky immediately signed the band as the label's flagship act, and they recorded their inaugural offering at Korn's Elementree Studios in Los Angeles. The sessions resulted in a volatile cache of cuts including "Resurrection", "Price of Honor" and "Fueled by Hate", which blend decimating hooks with infectious guitars.
The songs punch with a vibrancy that separates Droid from the oversaturated scene surrounding them. Says Eason: "You've got to be true to where you come from, and each one of us has a metal background. So we want to pay homage to what we love, but bring it with a new flavor. I want to mix real hardcore into it a little bit, as well. Our goal is to be a band that's always evolving. We're never leaving metal, and that's an oath I will always stand by--but we will evolve."
The blueprint has been drawn with this release, and there's no turning back. A standout track is "Vengeance is Mine", a collaboration with Deftones frontman Chino Moreno. The song is a volley of vitriol between the two singers, a twisted call and response with Eason's commanding bark answering Moreno's tortured, profound and often hypnotic high-pitched scream. "The contrast between me and Chino is sick," says the Droid frontman. "I learned a lot from just watching Chino in the studio. I'll continue to learn and want to work with people like that but, at the same time, be able to hold my own." The track is an unforgettable collision of chaos.
Touring with Korn on 2003's Back 2 Basics tour introduced Droid to America, who got another taste of the chaos on Family Values 2006. Mixing a raw East Coast hardcore ferocity with calculated metallic warfare, Droid have become a fine-tuned murder machine in front of a crowd. "It's like a brick wall coming at you 100 miles per hour", says Eason. "You can basically come to our shows and release all of your hate."
Ultimately, what's drawn so much attention to this band is their deep honesty. "If you're not honest, people can tell", concludes Eason. "People can tell if you've never experienced the things that you're singing about. People will vibe you and see if you're the same guy. The last thing I want to be is fake about anything."
Make no mistake, this metal is real, and ready to kill.
-Rick Florino. Ruin Magazine