High Octane by Dimension Shifter is indeed loaded with fuel and primed to explode. It’s a quick and firing punch to the ears that sounds like Them Crooked Vultures and Motorhead. These bad mothers of rock hail from Germany, but their sound is right out of the stoned annals of hard American fuzz. This album has a lot of momentum and never really slows down, the drums only pound with more intensity while the guitar holds the same thick distortion, all paired with the vocals of a punked-out drunk. It’s rich with character and balls, but starts to wear thin on the ears by the album’s end.
Just not enough full voice or range to take the music anywhere but to the hard knuckle sewers. And yet it’s strained and subterranean quality fits the music too well to care. There are a few moments where the vocalist unleashes a good scream and I think he could get away with even more. “MMT” is the longest track on High Octane and we have to wait almost six minutes until he cuts the low grunge hum with barking vocal. Nonetheless, it’s a great climactic element, similar to the full force bridge on “Connection.”
On “Frozen Circus” Dimension Shifter pulls out all the stops, kick starting a fuse that doesn’t stop burning until you stop listening. It slams with backbeat and drives like a bus, heavy with low end and dirt caked production. Continuing in its path is the slightly heavier “Vienna Calling.” It’s everything the rest of the album is with even more head banging glory, yet the most limited riff movement. Dimension Shifter basically grabs two progressions and rides out a half or whole step between as they lay out the strum patterns of each rocking concoction.
Who says it has to be complicated to be effective? Too many notes and we lose the groove that makes this band what they are. The crash cymbal and hi hat relationship create some serious weight between the main and alternate motifs. Again, this one is the track to get your dome dizzy. If you want a low down romp in the mud, High Octane will bring you in. It’s the soundtrack to a disgruntled after party, the kind where one dude falls asleep in the sink. If that’s not enough to get you on board, I don’t know what is.
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