JONNYX AND THE GROADIES “Liquid Crystal Despair” (self-released)

I really wasn’t expecting this, like at all. What did I expect? I … don’t know. That cover is Tangerine Dream meets Judas Priest, so that would’ve been a mashup. But then I was like, don’t judge by the cover, don’t judge by the cover…

I didn’t judge by the cover. I’m a genius.

This is hellish cyber–thrash metal, a visceral wasteland where prog keyboards interrupt black metal séances mid-ceremony, but the metalheads accept the nerds and everyone gets along. I love this stuff! Even when the vocals approach human (rather than demonic) singing, I can get into it. There’s quite a variety here, and the band’s been around since 1996, so you know they’re tight as hell. And, being from Portland, Oregon, I’m SURE they know those wacky Wolves in the Throne Room cats. Or maybe they don’t, who knows. I just assume everyone knows everyone else in the Pac NW. Still, they could share a bill.

More melodic than your average black metal shredders, but sharper and more dangerous than your average thrash-metallers, JonnyX and the Groadies should scratch that headbanging itch you’ve been having since you threw out your high school denim jacket with the Celtic Frost and Iron Maiden patches on it. I know you miss it, but when your wife wants you to throw out your filthy old jacket, you listen to her.