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Early Man 

Closing In

Wednesday, Dec 21 2005
When I listen to Closing In, the new riff-fucking-tastic retro-metalfest from Early Man -- the duo of singer/ guitarist/bassist Mike Conte and drummer Adam Bennati that, thanks to the power of overdubbing, sounds at least three members larger -- several things rush into my mind all at once: Heavy Metal Parking Lot; Sabbath's Master of Reality; that dirtbag Hessian in eighth-grade homeroom scrawling band logos and Maiden's Eddie on the back of his ratty spiral notebook; Metallica's Kill 'Em All; getting rides home from school in my friend Steve's trashed '75 Nova and nearly choking to death on the stench of exhaust fumes; stale Schlitz and overstuffed ashtrays; the cover of Priest's Screaming for Vengeance (thanks mostly to "War Eagle," during which Conte shrieks, "I am an eagle made of steel ... my eyes shoot laser beams at will/ They're dialed in and set to kill," pulling a little Halford outta his ass to turn that last word into a high-octave "Kiiiieeeeeeeeyyyaaaaiiyyyyhhhll!"); that sixth bong hit; rifling through musty stacks of Creem and Kerrang! in Tad Gileo's basement; walking out of a million rock shows with no hearing and feeling like I got body-slammed by King Kong Bundy. Dudes, it's a beautiful thing.

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Michael Alan Goldberg


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