Gods of rock

Let the Black Light, White Lines wash over you
By SAM PFEIFLE  |  June 24, 2009

sun gods main
  BIG BOOTS Sun Gods in Exile.

SPACE Gallery will be awfully loud Thursday, with the CD release of Sun Gods in Exile's Black Light, White Lines, supported by Ogre and the debut of Murcielago. Last Friday's L'Animaux Tryst showcase and this show are sonic polar opposites on the SPACE spectrum, but good for them for giving some boot-stomping guitar-rock a chance.

The Sun Gods do their best to stomp you right in the face, with rock that's neither southern (okay, "Hellwell" is) or pop, but hard-driving and front-grill-of-the-motorcycle gritty. They have history in spades, with a resume that includes Swampwitch Revival, Novadose, Lost Cause Desperadoes, Dirtnap, Ocean, Black Apple, and Supersoul Challenger, but this new project has been picked up by Detroit's Small Stone Records, which took them to record at Mad Oak Studios outside of Boston and do mastering at Baseline Audio in Ann Arbor.

This is probably a better record than that Chickenfoot band with Satriani and Hagar (if you're into that kind of thing), with all of the guitar pyrotechnics and blood-curdling vocals, but not trying to be more than it is: a big rock record.

The guitars are often split, so when vocalist/guitarist Adam Hitchcock and guitarist Tony D'Agostino (né Vegas) duel, you get one in each ear. Maybe there's a rhythm foundation, then a peal of fingers dragging down the fretboard ("Heaven Help Us All"), maybe drummer Johnny Kennedy pounds out a gun-shot opening before being overthrown by merciless guitar bouncers ("Rise Up"). Regardless, it never takes long for the riffage to ensue and for Hitchcock to lay right into you.

"Turbo Fire" is the apex of the guitar heat, clocking in near five minutes and never wasting a note. But if you think that's hot, inhale the seven-plus minutes of "495," which opens with peals of thunder and a melody line to drink to at 1 am, then gives you a speed rush to help you make it till sunrise.

Sam Pfeifle can be reached at sam_pfeifle@yahoo.com.

BLACK LIGHT, WHITE LINES  | Released by Sun Gods in Exile | with Ogre + Murcielago | at SPACE Gallery, in Portland | June 26 | www.myspace.com/sungodsrock

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