Devil Thumbs a Ride requires some work, because each piece is a compressed morality tale told in layered lyrics of intensity strung over ripping guitar, electro-bits and shotgun stick-work. But song by song, the haunting hooks seep into the subconscious. This quintet sharpens its metal with au courant technology, like a million other aggressive outfits, but the vocals are refreshingly clear, extolling every soul-searing struggle in stark, blinding detail. Screeching off the line, the killer titular opener exemplifies this tactic in a violet vehicular pile-up about keeping Hades out of your hot rod. The second track, "Vanishing Creme," is a nuanced revelation: theological verses build to an existential ascending chorus which blows open the sky. These cats are strong enough songwriters to let the song create the mood, rather than the other way around. Dealing with heavy topics such as Christianity, drugs and insanity, the Hunger keeps the petal to the metal. On rare occasions they cool the engines, as in "Hell Bent," where a Bon Jovi vibe takes the wheel; luckily, this is the only Sunday drive and the Hunger tears through "Sonic Wasteland" with a "Terminal Infection." The Hunger demands immediate attention from the listener; but when lightening the lyrical content and just belting out a silly lust song on the final hidden track, this hit squad pulls out a hair metal treasure; this unnamed cast-off joins "Vanishing Cream" and "Devil Thumbs a Ride" as the strongest efforts on a wicked metal storm of a record.
-STONE, Cheap Trash NYC