On Rikets' "Hollywood," singer Scott Rose sounds like Pantera's Phil Anselmo growling over an aggro-electro track left over from a Gravity Kills song. Then comes a soaring, suddenly melodic chorus borrowed from a Victory Records band. But where most modern rockers are mesmerized by their own vulnerability, Rose is sick of tender feelings altogether. Take "Bitter Words," which opens with the sentiment: "Stop your bitching and crying about everything."
The track sounds like a final bloodletting for Rose's disappointing experiences in the Bedroom Allstars and Erase the Grey, the Cleveland modern rock band that was signed to Universal for a hot minute. Now sampler-keyboardist Rose splits leads with former Switched guitarist Bradley Kochmit. The band's proper debut has been a long time coming, but the delay was worthwhile: Ben Schigel (Switched, Chimaira) produced, and half the tracks (most notably "Blister") are radio-ready. The rest would fit on Headbanger's Ball. Frickin' hostile.