Super 400: Sweet Fist

By: Dennis Cook

I am the bottle, you are the breeze
Floating in and out to sea
Fire of a rocket, love by degrees
Show me where the soul will be

Romantic stuff but it’s delivered with the blessed heaviness of Deep Purple or The Black Crowes, sung with ragged potency worthy of Free-era Paul Rodgers, and nuanced with unexpected curves into genuinely pretty melodic space. “Needle Down,” the opening track from Sweet Fist (Response Records), is only the start of a gripping, sexy hard rock slab of the first order. Long torchbearers for thick, undulating rock, Super 400 refines and expands on their sound here, trimming away fat and welcoming in some poppy elements that do nothing to dilute their basic mojo.

Throughout the sense that they throw themselves entirely into the music is inescapable, and together the trio packs a pretty huge wallop. At the risk of too much ancestral namedropping, Super 400 reminds one of early Thin Lizzy, who presented a similar smorgasbord of rockers, love songs, and pleasantly genre pushing experimentation. “Thought It Was The End” is the kind of acoustic-electric shuffler Page & Plant might’ve penned in the ’70s, their reworking of Carole King’s “I Feel The Earth Move” is wicked (akin to Nazareth’s handling of Joni’s “This Flight Tonight”), and bassist/keyboardist Lori Friday delivers dynamite lead vocals on crunchy modern boogie “Flashlight.” Each touch throughout – a few piano notes here, a psychedelic cul de sac there, a nasty blues stream over there – works, with Sweet Fist confirming that this Upstate New York band just keeps getting better.

JamBase | Righteous
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