When a band bills themselves as ‘The greatest power trio in the world today’ it can be taken in three ways; One: they might be telling the truth, Two: they are very ambitious and highly driven individuals or Three: the other two ways mentioned are irrelevant and the band is shit and its clickbait marketing. So naturally, an air of scepticism which is thicker than normal when reviewing a band is present when going through this record.
The Workhorse III hail from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and are made up of Lisa “Christ Superstar”on vocal and guitar duties, Eric Perfect on drums and Steve McCarthy on Bass and additional vocals. These three musicians are the result of a collaboration between members of Limecell, Savage 3D and Hellstomper and to quote the great Lemmy Kilminster, they play rock and roll. So let’s see if their rock and roll is relevant to their claim or not!
Twelve tracks totalling thirty four minutes running time is the content of this release so already, the initial impression of hard hitting, fast paced and intensity is there, and those initial assessments are proved correct the moment you hit play. “War Torn City” kicks the album off and the filthy riff along with the angry gang vocal shouts hit hard. With a very noticeable sleazy undercurrent to its sound, reminiscent of Nashville Pussy and Alabama Thunderpussy, its raw and abrupt sound works rather well and this style continues throughout the album.
Like all sleaze rock/stoner/sludge sounding bands, there are moments when the hard hitting approach eases off and a slower paced, dirty bluesy feel comes in, evident near the halfway point in the album on tracks like “Holy Roller”. The more restrained approach results in some great rhythm work from Eric on the drums and Lisa’s vocals and guitar fills dance between slow and composed to brief flurries of venom and cutting sounds.
Of course, there are some flat out headbangers on the album. “Wasted” has one hell of a riff to it with a real great overall tone, “Soul Crusher” sees Lisa hand the vocal duties over to Bassist Steve for the majority of the track and this one has a real bite to it, more so than the other tracks.
In all, “Closer To Relevance” is a damn fine, adrenaline pumping, no bullshit rock and roll album with the stoner and sludge vibes all over it. It has the kick you want from a sound like this but it’s not a sign of something the ‘greatest rock n roll band’ would put out…. yet.