Saviours, Accelerated Living (Kemado)
One of those late-2009 releases that could have slipped away unnoticed but deserves better, this third album from Oakland's Saviours rips from start to finish. It's 50 uninterrupted minutes of balls-out, bare-knuckled biker rock, informed as much by '70s FM radio, dialed all the way up, as it is by Mötorhead and Iron Maiden. (Early Iron Maiden, that is, before the Egyptian stage sets and 13-minute songs.) Saviours hit all the major hesher sweet spots—twin lead guitars, thrashy riffs, barking vocals, dramatic pick slides—but they swing, too, with an effortless rock 'n' roll rumble. The pace shifts between fast and really fast (and, on "Apocalypse World Split," really, really fast), just enough to add shade and dimension to what might otherwise turn into a blur.