I haven't heard from Pittsburgh rocker Chip DiMonick in three years, but it appears he's been busy. For three straight years, 2012 through 2014, his band has been named best punk band in the Pittsburgh area by the Iron City Rocks Pittsburgh Music Awards, votes coming from readers I'm guessing. This seems odd. DiMonick never struck me as a punk band.
It appears others have the same opinion, only louder. It's coming mostly from the punk underbelly of the same said territory, saying of DiMonick, "You Ain't Punk." Sounds like a good name for a song, maybe even a rhetorical reply to the nose-pierced, mohawk broomhead, nay-sayers. Well, it is, and it's probably the best song on Chip DiMonick's latest EP Uncaged.
The funny thing is DiMonick is punk, at least for this song. Through his sharp song composition and crafty, clearly tongue-in-cheek, lyrics DiMonick nails the punk genre and skewers, in a very entertaining way, the broomheads with rapier-like wit. And the song could put the beat down on habitual punk poseurs like Green Day. I think when Chip performs the song he should find as much hair spray as possible and paste his long locks straight up. Now that would be hilarious.
Enough on that one song. So what else is going on here. Overall, I would call Uncaged heavier, definitely some cross between hard rock and heavy metal, a bit of sleaze thrown in. But now we're just saying DiMonick is being DiMonick, and that's fine. Uncaged and That's How Much I Hate are aggressive more metal numbers, the latter a treatise on vicious revenge from somebody who's been scorned. Again, the able lyricist he is, DiMonick makes the words and music twisted thread. Not so much Lightning Bolt, the EP's ballad. It's a marked contrast the spiteful previous song. But it sounds like a cheesy Poison song. "When you touched my heart, I saw a spark; My body felt a jolt like a lightning bolt; And when I kissed your lips, it was electric; More than a billion volts, you’re my lightning bolt" Yeah, okay. Dominick's a lover, not a fighter.
The EP wraps up with Hand Grenade and Dig Deep. The former is quick heavy rocker with sharp riffs and more of Dominick's cogent lyrics, but surprisingly without a guitar solo, at least that I could hear. Dig Deep is another deep rocker, more steady, riffs still large, with a motivational spirit to the lyrics. DiMonick does some minor rock rapping. Again there's no guitar solo, just riffs. Essentially, with Uncaged, skilled song craftsman Chip DiMonick stays the course, offering a hybrid of hard rock and heavy metal while creatively twisting in different genres. Recommended.
With Uncaged, skilled song craftsman Chip DiMonick stays the course, offering a hybrid of hard rock and heavy metal while creatively twisting in different genres. Recommended.
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