It's 2014 and high time you got some new music into your playlist -- seriously. And that's doubly true when it comes local music, of which there's an abundance in metro Phoenix. The Valley's music scene is gifted with burgeoning bands and emerging artists who will be making waves and getting attention this year.
Up on the Sun is highlighting more than a dozen such acts for our series 14 Bands You Need to Hear in 2014. Today, our resident metal writer Lauren Wise gets into the trenches with local hard rockers Chemicals of Democracy.
Attending an average performance by local hard rockers Chemicals of Democracy is far from average. In fact, it's akin to being at ground zero of a nuclear holocaust thanks to the band's brain-melting metal.
One of the most satisfying aspects of going to a Chemicals of Democracy show is that you can get a complete understanding of the band's style, influences, and strengths from just one or two tracks. It's just put right out there -- an in-your-face onslaught of high-energy heavy instrumentals meets radio-ready rock vocals.
The triple-guitar element (a personal favorite) brings some of the band's strong influences to the light, from the punishing thrash riffs reminiscent of Metallica to the dueling ascending guitars that recall Pantera to the smoldering melodic leads trademarked by Iron Maiden.
However, Chemicals of Democracy brings its own modern approach to the music to keep listeners on their toes. Along with the catchy choruses, surprise hooks, and vocals (think Volbeat's Michael Poulsen meets Metallica's James Hetfield), it's easy to see why the band has already played all over the globe.
In fact, the band has performed alongside Saxon, Sister Sin, and Anvil to name a few, and have even played two Hammerfests in the UK with greats like Anthrax, Hatebreed, and Skindred.
Founded in 2007 by vocalist/lead guitarist Darrin Richards, bassist J.Q., and drummer Greg Paradis, the band went through some transitions and was rounded out to five members in 2012 with Ryan Maloney replacing Paradis on drums, guitarist Sammy Damaxx, guitarist/vocalist Scott Allan, and Darwin Scott replacing J.Q. on bass.
In 2013, Chemicals of Democracy released their full-length debut, American Scream, which was produced by British-based Grammy-nominated producer Chris Tsangarides (Judas Priest, Depeche Mode, Concrete Blonde). While the album is full of energetic hard rock and heavy breakdowns, there is also an element of classic rock present as well.
And Chemicals of Democracy isn't taking a break anytime soon, as they're currently in the home stretch of recording their second album and are hoping for release sometime this summer. And they're going to be busy dishing out rock 'n' roll ordnance around the world, including a potential tour of the UK later this year.
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