REVIEWS

Cosmic Rock

Van Huskins “Self titled” (Mystery School)

Gastown is becoming a regular brewing apocalyptic mecca of punk metal these days. Sitting on top of the movement with bands like Queen City Rejects among others, come the grungy trio of brothers in arms known only as the Van Huskins.  

The VH learned their metal somewhere between a love for Van Halen and Seattle’s Green River coming up with a sound reminiscent of The Ramones, Superchunk, The Pixies and some antics a bit like the almighty Supersuckers.  The rowdy trio was formed five years ago by Eric - Guitar, vocals,  Mik - bass, vocals and Ben on drums, vocals and this release is a self titled brand new recording full of metallic crunch and streetpunk slam.

Lead off single “The Geniust” rocks full on while the rolling bassline by Mik flows along with mad skill. At first listen my favorite track on the record  is “In Your Face World” which is a stand out anthem. Eric’s guitars are more rock than punk, Ben’s drums are solid. Like an off the cuff skatepunk ZZ Top the VH three piece focus on the riffage.

VH don’t sound like many southern metal/punk bands they are more similar in vibe to old dusty Seattle punk records you’d find in the vinyl collection of a seasoned music fan (like a wayward cousin of Skin Yard meets The Accused ) but truly most akin to California skate punk like early ST, maybe some TSOL, Circle Jerks and a sense of reckless fun like NOFX.  Break out the skateboard and hit the empty swimming pools in the holy name of Dogtown with VH.. Halen or Huskins. What these guys are doing is drawing from decades old classic west coast punk with no locational sense of social obligations to filter their style.  Sure it’s Gastonia proud but the sound is west coast traditional eighties grime drenched punk metal.

What’s apparent is these guys are having fun with it while being true rock fans. The original founding father punk rock bands (at least from the American side of the musical movement) at heart had always been a love for pure rock and roll without any needless trappings (straight up rock songs i.e. Ramones, Misfits) and the VH guys ‘get it’:  they’re having a good time with their band and delivering the rock.  Memorable tunes, healthy sense of good times and rocking riffage from three guys in the zone of what they want to do and be. 

A healthy love for classic metal influence is only natural as well. It’s all about what you like and finds its’ way into your own music. One gets the feel The Van Huskins don’t plan: Eric, Mik and Ben just crank up and jam. I dig these guys.

Check out Van Huskins when these dudes appear standing on a haze of late night well worn stages and toppled trash can riddled alleyways, muddy Motorhead level dirt and distortion set ultra high, never less than aiming for volume eleven.