Fusion Bomb aren’t a band that tries to hide their obvious influences in the slightest. Without hesitation on their debut full-length Concrete Jungle, they make their intent of crafting amateur thrash driven by the early Bay Area acts very clear. The only real indicator that this is a new-age act is the overly polished sound. But what they don’t make clear is whether they want to follow the attitude of the crossover acts, or the maturity of the “pure” thrashers.
Indeed, this does cause a less-than-smooth flow. “Knuckleburger” is equally as fun with its wicked-fast rhythms as it is silly; especially when they lay on the throaty hardcore vocals. “You’re A Cancer To This World” pushes this idea even more with a Municipal Waste kind of edge. Truly, these are the songs where Fusion Bomb shines brighter because the stripped-down approach and hooks are far more present. Not a lot of thought is needed for a build like that, but what’s there in that realm is done right.
However, the rest of this just rings in a starter-pack edition of classic thrash. Nowhere to be found is there anything that invokes anything attention-grabbing. Don’t get me wrong, Concrete Jungle isn’t objectively bad in any way, but the songs that aren’t aimed at a punkier attitude hold no real value. The production makes it sound way too generic, and the attempts at being intricate such as with “Bird Of Prey” lose their luster after the first thirty seconds or so. Thus, combining this unclear direction with songs like “Knuckleburger” yields an awkward effort overall.
All in all, this band moving forward should focus on one trait or the other; it’s seldom that musicians can pull off a mix like this so well. Either they should make a whole record of “TMNA” type songs, or they should buckle-down on beefy songwriting and make a sturdier disc. In fact, an entire disc that plays like “Slam Tornado” would be great, as it hones in on both aspects with the perfect balance. And for crying out loud, the overly clean production is far too much. Those heavily into thrash should give this a listen. Those that don’t seek it as much, you can probably take a rain-check.
Concrete Jungle came out on January 25th, 2019. You can find it digitally here.