Here we have the debut album from Finnish quintet Distressed, and anyone expecting something of the melodic rock or progressive genre, given the label they are signed to, are going to be in for something of a surprise. Nick Katona just said to me that the band were metal, but what I was not expecting was a hybrid of grunge, stoner and alternative. There are times when they sound like Nirvana, or Soundgarden, but others where they are solid QOTSA while somehow also having a strong alternative bent to the overall sound. The musicians, Petri Lindström (guitar), Jarno Törn (guitar), Jari Penttinen (bass), and Juha Säpsä (drums) create a buzzsaw background where all that matters is the riff, while at the front we have Jarrno Virtanen, who is simply incredible.

I remember the first time I heard Danny Joe Brown, and even though the focus back then was on the triple guitar attack of Molly Hatchet it was his vocals which really made the band stand out for me, and the same is true here. It is the interplay between his vocals and the music which makes this work, and neither would be as good without the other, but it is the depth and breadth of his approach which makes this such a listenable to album. The music is quite basic, but behind it is all there is a groove which gets the foot tapping, and it is the vocals which really bring the listener inside and wanting to hear more. While this album does not exactly set the world on fire, I am looking forward to the next one with interest as I can see this band developing into something quite special.

Rating: 6/10