The Chuck Norris Experiment
Right Between The Eyes
by Andrew Sifari at 25 February 2014, 11:24 PM
THE CHUCK NORRIS EXPERIMENT (CNE in short) come hail from Gothenburg, Sweden. Rather than an IN FLAMES / AT THE GATES inspired sound, which one might assume considering the area’s reputation, these Swedes have adopted a Metal style they are happy to admit is inspired by “Rock in general” (per the group’s Facebook page).
Band members Ransom (vocals), The Ripper (guitar), Dakota (bass), Buzz (drums), and Rooster (guitar) have been releasing music on a highly consistent basis since 2004, including several 7” singles and a number of split-EPs. They all happen to go by the first name ‘Chuck’ (ex: Chuck Ransom). They also seem to all share a taste for old-school, AC/DC-style rock, but with a darker edge to their songs.
The group’s sixth album, “Right Between The Eyes”, absolutely screams classic arena Rock / Metal. Love it or hate it, it’s hard to ignore the band’s strong, ballsy guitar playing, catchy lyrics, and thumping rhythm section. Lyrically, songs like “Black Leather” and “Gratitude” relish in all the glorious excesses we’ve come to identify with Hard Rock / Metal, including extended guitar solo sections and women, with a touch of that kind of tough, biker feel as pioneered by JUDAS PRIEST (even though they don’t really sound like the PRIEST). The band gives a tight performance, playing confidently while managing to keep it loose at the same time. After second track “White Devil”, though, it kind of feels like, at times, the band is just going through the motions of the “kind” of band they are, such as in “Earth Is Shaking”, and at some times, the songs can sound a bit dated. I also can’t help but admit that I legitimately wondered when “Gratitude”, which is still a decent track, was going to “kick \[my] ass,” as they promise to do, because it doesn’t sound any more ask-kicking than any of the other songs.
That is not to say, however, that there are not any standout tracks to be had. In addition to the aforementioned two songs, “Midnight Strangler” is one of the most memorable cuts from the album, with its chugging pace and a great chorus. Similarly, the title track’s repetitive yet super-catchy main verse highlights the band’s ability to keep things fresh while still keeping that old-school vibe. “The World Burns” is another solid, up-tempo rager, while “If I Could I Would” pounds along with its driving riffs and even more simple-yet-catchy lyrics.
While it’s not likely to surprise you with its musical innovation, “Right Between The Eyes” is an overall good album, the kind of music to listen to while driving fast on the highway.