Rock It: Sonic Pulse debuts with party thrash ‘Lager than Life’

Posted on November 13, 2013


Rock It: A different kind of party rocker

Sonic Pulse (Photo Provided)

Sonic Pulse (Photo Provided)

By Rachael Mattice

No divine love songs, no spewing hatred over abandoned fathers and cheating spouses, only party anthems.

When you are hosting, getting ready to head to the bars, or are kicking back with friends, think of the songs that would be on your playlist to get amped. Would any of them inspire throwing kegs, breaking bottles against the wall, or starting wars in your own house? Sonic Pulse is a derivative of pure party: rage-filled, brawling, beer-drinking power metal thrashers hailing from Boston, Mass.

The quintet is set to release their debut, self-released album “Lager Than Life” by fall, adorning the epitome of youthful metal heads – drinking beer, smoking and blowing up amps from maximizing volume levels.

Redefining drunken belligerence in a positive light, vocalist Dan Hammer and guitarist/bassist Dave Carlino forged Sonic Pulse in 2009, recording aggressive songs such as self-titled “Sonic Pulse,” “Queen of Beers,” “Demoniac Spell” and “Eye of the Beerholder.”

“Sonic Pulse” premieres the album, doting amusing lyrics and dynamic instrumentals. Although all areas of the song collaboration are powerful, the bass line by Dave Maze is exceptional. The constant bass movement sticks out when each instrument is divided into sections in my mind.

The introduction to “Beyond the Black Hole” relishes in the heavy bass again, demonstrating how bass can be pushed ahead of typical dominant guitars. A few measures of growling vocals is present on this track, rather unusual for typical punkesque shouting associated with the subgenre.

Sonic Pulse "Lager than Life"

Sonic Pulse “Lager than Life”

The band makes it a point to promote chaotic shredding in the guitar solos in each of the seven songs on the album, but more so in “Bong Zombies” and “Eye of the Beerholder.” These tracks specifically show the combative and wild-fun nature of thrash, and of Sonic Pulse.

Thrash metal is one of the niche categories, also one of my favorite subgenres, with a crossover of simple metal riffing and punk-influenced shouting that gained popularity in the early ’80s. Sonic Pulse is one of the bands today that keeps that amphetamine-fast style alive for a fresh face, with hints of nerd and plenty of torn off sleeves.

If you are allergic to noise commotion fun, are bothered by the stiffness in your neck the day after a sweaty, drunken concert, you probably should not invest in Sonic Pulse’s new album.

If you are interested in participating in the party and witnessing the talented-yet-militant musicianship, Sonic Pulse is touring through the Midwest, with stops in Indiana.

Their album “Lager than Life” is available for purchase via iTunes, Bandcamp and Big Cartel. Sonic Pulse can also be reached on their Facebook page at

Mattice is a producer and music journalist at the Journal & Courier. She can be reached on Twitter @RachaelM_JC. 

Posted in: "Rock It" Column