Rear Naked Choke Self-Titled Album Review

Rear Naked Choke is a metal band from Abilene, Texas who released their debut self-titled album late last year. R.N.C. features all the things you need for a metal band (crunchy guitars, intense vocals, thick drums), as well as a solid groove, but what stuck out to me was the emotion each song created. Some songs were sad, some introspective, some laid back, and some bat-shit crazy. I’ve picked out several of my favorite tracks from their debut album to discuss more in-depth.

Mike’s Song is one of my favorites on the album. It starts off with a really beautiful clean guitar riff and maintains a unique (albeit a bit melancholy) atmosphere. It also features some of the best soloing on the album. The guitar parts on this track are among my favorites.

A Toast to Dime has a phenomenal groove to it and features some awesome syncopation. As appears to be the trend with R.N.C., this song features some super catchy guitar riffs as well as a pretty sick guitar solo. The laid back “have a good time” kind of vibe this song exudes is very strong, which is really what caused me take notice.

Betterman has a very introspective vibe. It’s apparent through the passion of the vocals as well as the guitar playing that the meaning of this song is very personal to the band, and it’s that passion that made me appreciate this track all the more. It’s a very hard-hitting piece of music and is certainly a bold choice for being the finale track on this album.

If you’re at all a fan of metal music you’ll definitely want to check out this album. R.N.C. is absolutely phenomenal at writing catchy metal guitar riffs, which in my mind is one their strong suits. The ability to create so many different atmospheres through their tracks is another equally important skill of theirs, and it’s all that variance that kept me interested throughout the entire album. I’m excited to see what else Rear Naked Choke creates in the future!