Review: “Back To The Green Zone” EP by Road Mutant

Rewind back to the end of August 2018. The venue? London’s New Cross Inn. The event? Upsurge Festival. We were lucky enough to witness the debut live performance from a band featuring in their ranks members of This is Colour and The Boy Will Drown. That band? Road Mutant! They launched upon us a blistering Crossover Thrash attack that was as blissfully unexpected as it was good and led to them putting out a pair of tunes from their set in their debut release “Live From The Red Zone (Sector 4776)” as an official bootleg. Recorded and Mixed by Sam Thredder at Cro’s Nest (Dead Swans, Hang the Bastard, TRC, More Than Life) and Mastered by Arthur Rizk (Power Trip, Candy, Cavalera Conspiracy, Trapped Under Ice), it’s time to review “Back To The Green Zone” the bands full debut EP!

Setting things off in true Crossover Thrash style “March Of The Road Mutants” is Road Mutant’s call to arms. Thomas Cronin, Charlie Pearce, Jay Rutterford, Ed Bell & Sam Edwards deliver a honed riff fest of an anthem. The choice of Sam Thredder and Arthur Rizk to handle the Mixing and Mastering is spot on as their experience in genre makes for a high quality of sound with all the right levels in the mix from the very start. If there was a song to sum up Road Mutant’s sound, it would be thing one. Moving them tempo between the classic 80’s Thrash sound of the likes of Exodus (especially with that closing solo!) and a slower, Sludge Metal sound that hints at the influence of some one like High on Fire or perhaps even Black Sabbath, the band crush. The chant style one-liner that is the EP title “Back To The Green Zone” will surely be one that the audience take up in live shows of the future.

If the opening track is Road Mutant’s call to arms, then “The Raid” is the battle itself. A full on Thrash attack. Charlie Pearce delivers a more guttural vocal in places on this cut to accompany his usual barked vocal abrasions while lyrically telling the story of the fight. The riffs are urgent, delivered with a stomp and break outs that flow neatly with the lyrical delivery and a face melting solo that leads into the final third. It’s a tune that without a doubt defies you not to headbang! “From The Dirt” brings some tasteful tempo variations and lead flourishes without the over use of the whammy bar. It’s a tale of a Post Apocalyptic World in which the Road Mutants have survived being left for dead. It’s a new dawn. The dawn of the Road Mutants from the Green Zone. And they’re here to slay. Ripping riffs, pummelling kit work and pounding bass-lines crammed into 3 minutes and 27 seconds of power with some vocal growls before the final verse.

“Big Lizard Mosh Pit” is fantastic fun. Who doesn’t love a tune about Moshing delivered at circle pit pace with the kind of lyrical entertainment that cracks a smile on the face of even the most hardened, hungover Metal Head? Starting off slow to set the stage then raising the pace for a furious mid-section of relentless riffage that only slows in the final third to it’s original pace, it’s another banger of a tune. Honestly, we had such lofty expectations for this EP. Not only has it lived up to them, but it’s smashed them into the ground. It’s a thrash-tastic affair full of riffs, fun story telling lyrics and delivered with the kind of stylish flair that puts Road Mutant firmly on the map [8.5/10]

Track list

1. March Of The Road Mutants
2. The Raid
3. From The Dirt
4. Big Lizard Mosh Pit

“Back To The Green Zone” by Road Mutant is out this Friday, 4th January and available via Bandcamp
Set from Upsurge Festival at London’s New Cross Inn filmed by David Tan on 27/08/2018
Set from The Steampacket in Norwich filmed by Calvin Chadwick on 19/10/2018

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