King of the Underdogs
Newsted is the solo endeavor of former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted. He wrote these songs on an iPad before fleshing them out with his power trio, which features drummer Jesus Mendez Jr. (formerly of The Napoleon Blownaparts) and guitarist Jessie Farnsworth. The opening “Soldierhead” was meant to be a tip of the hat to U.S. soldiers; in the lyrics Newsted also tries to fathom what it must be like for the young members of the American military to fight in a desert with bombs going off all around them and bullets whizzing by. Fans of early Metallica are sure to appreciate Newsted’s return to hard-driving speed metal. Parts of “Soldierhead” closely recall certain songs from Metallica’s fourth studio album, …And Justice for All, save for a more audible bass mix. Newsted warns against judging his character in the venomous lyrics to “Godsnake,” which plays a little longer and a little slower than “Soldierhead.” His prowess as a bassist surfaces in the punchy “King of the Underdogs” before “Skyscraper” closes with towering, Sabbathy sludge.