When Summer's Gone - Knockout Mechanism

by Brian Lange. Rating:6 Release Date:2014-02-28

Knockout Mechanism is the latest record from When Summer’s Gone, rockers from New Castle in Pennsylvania. Originally formed as a studio project in 2008, When Summer’s Gone has since produced two solid records which pay homage to the brief period of rock resurgence some 15 years ago.

Lead singer Dave Graziani has the perfect voice for this kind of music. It’s a misconception that hard rock doesn’t need good vocals, and I think that the quality of a singer can often be overlooked because of this. It’s not just throaty screaming into a mike, it’s not nasal whining, it’s genuine and raw emotion which comes through in the rhythm and the lyrics. AJK, Chris Lepri, and Richard Morrone make up the rest of the band and the quality of the production makes it sound as if they have been playing for years.

One might remember the MTV Rocks music that exploded over America and inspired touring festivals like Ozzfest, Family Values, Summer Sanitarium and others. While thisn album doesn’t classify as ‘metal’, it certainly is hard rock. Located just outside Pittsburgh, this area of the country has been known to produce a lot of quality rock over the years. 

The problem here is that at some point it might all start to sound the same. Where’s the uniqueness? The authenticity and quality is there, but those dreary steel milling towns sure do have a reputation for anguished hard rock.

There’s a whole slough of hard rock fans who will accept this new sort of music with open arms.  The bands in this genre seem relatively supportive of each other, and often times they will play shows together and sometimes swap members. It’s evident who influences who, which is what creates this sort of bubble of rock which exists more prominently in some areas than others. Is it good? Yes. Is it something new and exciting you’ve never heard before? Unfortunately, no. It’s the same sort of thing you might remember from those MTV Rocks days.

However, this album harks back to a time when rock music was so prevalent and prolific. In the late 90s and early 00s, teenagers could go to shows every week and hear music of this caliber. Carefree times, when all one wanted to do was listen to music. As this band's name suggests, enjoy the irresponsibility while you can. Because when summer’s gone…

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