Sweatmaster - Tom Tom Bullet (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Tom Tom Bullet (2005)

Bad Afro

In an area well reknowned for its exportation of numerous high profile death and black metal bands, Scandanavia has thrown something different our way through Bad Afro Records. Rock'n'roll straight from the microphones and amplifiers of Sweatmaster, Tom Tom Bullet is a refreshing blast of groove-dependent rock that simplifies and impresses in equal parts.

Coupling a great rhythm section with a singer who's absolutely perfectly suited for the music spells great things for Sweatmaster, as he rises over whatever chord progressions the band lays out in front. A solid representation of clean and distorted guitars carry the rhythms through various grooves and tempos; it's just fun. The bouncy arrangements are ideal for a rock'n'roll record centered not around individual parts, but the music those parts come to make. "Alpha Male" starts with some jangly chords and bouncy vocals that sound terrific together. None of the music this band puts out there is all that difficult, difficult to play or difficult to take in. But the lack of intricacy, frankly, gives the band a chance to expand on what they're good at: writing rock songs.

"Kick This Town" has a real classic rock feel to it, both in vocals and instrumentation; the guitar sounds authentic and right out of the 70's. The singer is able to change his inflection here to fit the kind of sound that he needs, and it's one of the album's more shining examples of the talent that this band possesses. "Dirty Little Things" kicks in with a thick bass groove before the low-tempo guitar kicks in until a chorus complete with handclaps and "whoa-ohs."

The pace of the album may be rather subdued, but the vocals always scream out with a solid sense of swagger and urgency. The vocals retain their melodic base for the most part, but at times the singer is able to branch out and emit a real primal scream that lets everyone know that a layer of power is resting below the surface, able to come out whenever it's needed, such as in "Last Request."

All in all, the band seems to have accomplished their goal: Up-tempo, blues influences, old-style rock‘n'roll with some classic rock flair. The description sounds like a possible recipe for disaster, but Sweatmaster work fantastically together as a band and pull all the pieces into one solid package with no holes to be found. This is one album that the phrase "sophomore slump" will be skipping right over.