Red Bank, NJ
Small Stone Records
Infernal Overdrive is a heavy rock and roll band formed in early 2008 when Marc Schleicher (fmr. Quintaine Americana [Wikipedia, MySpace, AllMusic], Cracktorch [MySpace], Antler, Liquor Tricks [MySpace]) of Allston , Mass. started jamming with Mike Bennett (fmr. Loud Earth [Reverb Nation, Facebook]) in Red Bank. Soon they got Rich Miele (fmr. Loud Earth [Reverb Nation, Facebook]) on board playing second lead guitar. During some of their early shows, Jake Metz (Godzero [MySpace]) joined the band on bass, but he was soon replaced by Keith Schleicher.
Their sound is a combination of their classic influences such as Led Zeppelin, Blue Cheer, Free, Grand Funk, Cactus, Deep Purple and Pink Floyd and newer heavy bands like Kyuss, Nebula, Soundgarden, STP, QOTSA and Monster Magnet.
Rumors abound that somewhere in the depths of New Jersey time stands still and it is always 1977. Trapped in this interstellar time warp, making electric amageddon is Infernal Overdrive. Fronted by the mysterious, oft reckless Marc Schleicher (Cracktorch [MySpace], Quintaine Americana [Wikipedia, MySpace, AllMusic], Antler) – a Boston native transplanted in time and space to this 4th dimension – summoned by the all-powerful duo of Mike Bennett and Rich Miele of Loud Earth [Reverb Nation, Facebook]. After a treacherous search to find his long lost brother, Keith Schleicher was sucked into the vortex to fulfill his destiny on bass guitar. They journey in the last of the V8 interceptors, proving themselves worthy of the Small Stone pedigree. Forces to be reckoned with on their own, as a group their wonder team powers activate to kick into Infernal Overdrive.
Armed with their wits, New Jersey dialect and a passion for surviving the likes of the Tall Man, flying orbs, giant sharks, the Turnbull AC’s and an occasional family of albino zombies, Infernal Overdrive will be coming to an area near you soon. Can you dig it?
Red Bank, NJ
Artists We Also Like
Cortez, Maegashira, Monster Magnet, Roadsaw, Pigs, The Brought Low
Review by The Obelisk / Stoner Rock:
Infernal Overdrive Kick into Gear
With production by Andrew Schneider (Throttlerod, The Brought Low, Hackman) and mastering by Nick Zampiello at New Alliance East in Boston, there’s no doubt that New Jersey riff rockers Infernal Overdrive are going for that Small Stone Records sound. The four tracks that comprise their new self-titled EP fall in line with the kind of straightforward guitar-led rock the Detroit label has proffered for well over a decade now, and with a similar southern/classic ‘70s influence to New York’s The Brought Low, Infernal Overdrive seem remarkably conscious of what they’re doing sonically. More so than you might expect for a band just releasing their first EP.
The story goes that when guitarist/vocalist Marc Schleicher (ex-Cracktorch [MySpace], Antler) moved from Massachusetts to central New Jersey, he got hooked up with drummer Mike Bennett and guitarist/backing vocalist Rich Miele (both ex-Loud Earth [Reverb Nation, Facebook]). Keith Schleicher (relation assumed) was added on bass and Infernal Overdrive began rocking out early 2008. The EP was recorded over two days in February and four in April, and though that seems quick, none of the songs feels rushed or underdone. Schneider, who also shows up on extra backing vocals, makes his mark sound-wise in the tone of Schleicher and Miele’s guitars and Bennett’s snare sound, which has the same pop Schneider has become known for – not too bright, but able to cut through the mix and propel the songs forward. Some of Schleicher’s leads, as on EP closer “Motor,” feel a little too thought out, too structured where what I’d like to hear is a little bluesy ‘70s recklessness, but they get the job done nonetheless, and the vocals are never out of place.
Although the highway for which it’s named runs down through the whole East Coast, there’s no question that when Infernal Overdrive open the EP with “I-95,” they’re talking about Jersey. The song is a southern-hued guitar rocker that sets the tone well for the three tracks that follow with an ear toward rock traditionalism and, once again, like-minded Small Stone heavy-hitters Sasquatch, Dixie Witch, et al. It’s hard to argue with the approach when it works as well as it does on the speedy “The Edge,” which forgoes central Jersey’s reputation for heavy psychedelia in the style of Monster Magnet in favor of Halfway to Gone’s stripped-down take on rock. “Duel” slows down the pace somewhat but still keeps a mid?paced groove that makes use of some well?placed lead lines that start the song reminding me of Iron Maiden filtered through Nebula’s druggy haze. Only “Motor,” which devolves into an extended jam that brings the track to a total of just under 12 minutes, is longer, as the songs on Infernal Overdrive go in order from shortest to longest. Whether or not that’s on purpose on the part of the band, I don’t know – I’d imagine at least putting “Motor” last is – but I suppose it’s as good a method of organization as any.
There’s a short message from the Devil after “Motor” finishes up, and that’s the end of the EP. Infernal Overdrive are out relatively quick when you consider their first release is only 26 minutes and three of the four songs take up about 11 of it. No complaints though, as the four-piece know precisely how to get the most out of their sound and show exactly that on these tracks. It’s a hell of an investment to make with a self-released debut to hook up with the likes of Schneider and Zampiello, but Infernal Overdrive make the most of Schleicher and co.’s collected experience, and come off sounding confident and notably mature for a band who’s been together less than three years. It may not be changing the game, but Infernal Overdrive is definitely worth checking out for anyone who wants to hook into some solid and unpretentious heavy rock.
Review by Cutting Edge Rocks:
A couple years ago we reviewed a strong up-and-coming Jersey band Loud Earth [Reverb Nation, Facebook]. Well, it seems they dissolved and morphed into Infernal Overdrive. The new band is two parts Loud Earth [Reverb Nation, Facebook] (drummer Mike Bennett and guitarist/backing vocalist Rich Miele), one part Cracktorch [MySpace], Antler (guitarist/vocalist Marc Schleicher) and one part brother (bassist Keith Schleicher). Mike contacted me letting me know the band formed after Marc relocated from Boston and set up shop in Jersey. He sent along the EP for my listening pleasure. And a pleasure it is! The songs are baked in southern ‘70s hard rock with catchy riffs and plenty of power rumbling in the pipes. The info is sketchy but according the record’s liner notes, the four-song EP was recorded this year in Brooklyn, NY over five days (Feb 27, 28 & April 17, 18, 24, 25). Production was handled by Andrew Schneider (Throttlerod, The Brought Low, Hackman) with mastering by Nick Zampiello. Fans of our site will immediately make the Small Stone connection and that seems to be where the band are heading as the vibe is defiantly Detroit retro.
Take for instance “I-95” which opens the disc with a solid guitar wail and foot-stomping drum beat. Tambourine is added for flavor but the song bellows like fellow Boston-natives Roadsaw, mixing biker thunder with a Pat Travers/Leslie West riff-fest. Second track, “The Edge” is pure old school Nugent, including the repeat riff and frantic, almost MC5 delivery. Schleicher voice is ragged and ready to rock. The drums hammer and the bass drives laying down a solid bed for some sexy solo leads. “Duel” has more Fu Manchu in the groove. It’s mostly in the chorus, but the build in the verse is still very Scott Hill/Brant Bjork. The track also boasts our favorite solo – frayed, not over played and sparked with cosmic energy. “Motor” is a 13-minute stoner masterpiece. A heavy bottom end brings to mind Sabbath, Sasquatch and Mountain. The riff is clean but thick with a layered solo painting in all the little nuances – perfect for a psychedelic ride. The echo on the vocals adds to the songs dripping mysticism while the guitar is allowed to float, pierce and melt the brain. Yeah, it only four songs, but dude, sometime that’s all you need when they’re this good.
Review by Heavy Planet
I recently had a chance to hear some new material from thee guys and I’ll tell you right now, this is a band to be on the look out for. They’re going places. Their sound is straight up southern stoner rock. If I had to compare them, I’d say they’re a bit harder version of The Brought Low. Checkout the usual social media spots (links below) to hear what I’m talking about and keep up to date with all their happenings because you’ll certainly be hearing from them again.