There are few albums that make me question my past – why I didn’t make sound investments in my early twenties? Why I didn’t see the need to protect my credit rating? Why I was not more forward thinking in my career choices? You see, I’m realizing that if I had been more driven, I wouldn’t be listening to this album through headphones in my apartment, I’d be blasting this through some huge speakers in the basement of a house, disturbing neighbors and scaring away small animals.

Croatia’s Kevlar Bikini manages to capture the essence of pure unadulterated rock that delights angry young men and terrifies old women. While maintaining a gritty, straight-forward hard rock core, they are far from just another band that’s gonna plug into distortion pedals and chunk their way through. Right off the bat, songs like “Devil’s Jukebox” grabs you by the collar and doesn’t let up. Throat-shredding vocals kick off hard into heavy and fat guitar hooks that defy the listener to stand still.

Refreshingly, these boys don’t seem to take themselves too seriously, borrowing lyrics from Black Eyed Peas “My Humps” in their song Rats and “Copycats.” I was reminded at times of bands like The Vincent Black Shadow, Loudermilk, and Clutch. Elements of blues, industrial, punk and metal are all well represented throughout this record, it is truly the blending of all of these influences that make this enjoyable and keep things fresh throughout.

As an example of this band’s distinct blend, the driving and testosterone fueled “Jab” is followed by the punk/modern surf rock “Pretzelspine,” a song which, in its own right, has some serious diversity throughout the track. Both of these lead into the somber and dark “Urinea,” showcasing this band’s depth and span in terms of style.

There are three elements that separate a great rock album from just a good one. In no particular order, they are:

1.)The Note Not Played – This is what makes a Jimmy Page guitar riff memorable.

2.)The “Just Right” production – Over production can rip the spirit right out of a recording, and a lack of mixing skills can make it sound cheap

3.)True To Live ratio – Obviously, the studio allows you freedoms that you wouldn’t get in a live performance setting. Guitars are tracked two and three times to make a fuller sounds etc. But how would it play live?

Explodisaic scores high marks in all three of these categories, and to me at least, secures this  high-energy offering a slot in my personal rotation for a long while to come.  I hope I get to see these guys come to the States as I can only imagine the live show would be fantastic.