POWERFLO – Powerflo
Released: 23rd June, 2017
POWERFLO Line up:
Sen Dog – Vocals
Billy Graziadei – Guitars & Backing Vocals
Rogelio “Roy” Lozano – Guitars
Christian Olde Wolbers – Bass
Fernando Schaefer – Drums
The year was 2000, a long time ago in a galaxy far away. Cypress Hill had just dropped their album, Skull ‘N Bones, a 2-disc monster with Disc 2 a rap-metal genre blending 6 track beast featuring Cypress Hill rapping to what was basically heavy metal riffs. Collaborating at the time were names such as Dino Cazares and Christian Olde Wolbers of Fear Factory and Brad Wilk of Rage Against the Machine just to name a few. The results were impressive, and whilst other bands such as Ice T’s Body Count, Downset and Rage Against the Machine were already doing similar, no one quite blended the full-blown rap over these kinds of heavy riffs that way.
Later that year B-Real of Cypress Hill, Christian Olde Wolbers, Stephen Carpenter of Deftones and Ray Herrera of Fear Factory attempted to push the concept with their super group band, Kush. Unfortunately, due to record labels differences the band never released an album, though it is rumoured an album was recorded. From there, the rap-metal genre basically died a slow death. Rage Against the Machine would soon disappear, Body Count would record but not many would listen (until recent years), though BC were more a hardcore band than rap-metal anyway, and despite Linkin Park’s best efforts early in the noughties, they eventually succumbed to pop rock and later heavy synthesised Justin Bieber wannabe beats.
Of more recent times, Prophets of Rage, the half Rage Against the Machine with B-Real of Cypress Hill and Chucky D of Public Enemy has attempted and to a point successfully re-introduced the world to rap-metal. Whilst their EP was lame, at least the live version of the band seems to be enjoying a decent run and there are good reports surfacing about their debut album, set to drop September 15.
So, what does all that background have to do with Poweflo? The answer is everything. Powerflo is yet another attempt at re-kindling the rap-metal genre, with GRAMMY® Award-nominated multiplatinum Cypress Hill spitter Sen Dog, Downset. guitarist Rogelio “Roy” Lozano, Biohazard vocalist and guitarist Billy Graziadei, ex-Fear Factory bassist Christian Olde Wolbers, and Worst drummer Fernando Schaefer. The pedigree is there, the link with past collaborations is there, the fire is there it seems and all this comes across in the band’s self-titled debut.
The first thing you will notice is the groove riffs. Guitarists Lozano and Graziadei combine superbly and then the machine gun bass of Olde Wolbers just brings it all together. Sen Dog the angrier, more aggressive microphone spitter from Cypress Hill is a perfect foil for this band, none more so on the opener, ‘My M.O’.
Next track, ‘Resistance’ tapers off with a quiet opening before that beefy bass enters and Sen Dog does what Sen Dog does. ‘Where I Stay’ has a definite Biohazard feel to it, bouncing out the gates. Where Powerflo has succeeded their brothers in Prophets of Rage is this bouncy feel to the music. The gang vocals, the angst in Sen Dog’s vocals, it just seems less forced and no doubt the influence of Olde Wolbers and his punchy bass lines has helped.
A perfect example of that ‘bouncy’ feel is ‘Victim of Circumstance’, simply a track you’ll want to max your speakers out too. More thrashier numbers are here too in ‘Made It This Way’ and ‘Finish the Game’ as they follow one another as Powerflo continue to push their boundaries.
A great debut and whilst a lot of the younger generation will no doubt miss the point or direction of this album, it’s a great throwback to an era of early of rap-metal and one that hopefully raises enough popularity to get these guys touring down under.
01. “My M.O.”
03. “Where I Stay”
04. “Crushing That”
05. “Less Than A Human”
06. “The Grind”
07. “Victim Of Circumstance”
08. “Made It This Way”
09. “Finish The Game”
10. “Up And Out Of Me”
11. “Start A War”