Fifth Street Saints
Reason to Run
Metallica has reached that particularly perverse level of celebrity where nobody you know still likes them, and yet even their most misbegotten albums go platinum. Well, now you know at least four guys from small-town East Tennessee (Morristown, Kodak, and Cocke County) who really like late-period Metallica—the bloozy modern-rock blowhards of the 21st century, not the all-time thrash titans of the 1980s. On the Fifth Street Saints’ first EP, Reason to Run, slickly produced by Travis Wyrick, singer/guitarist Eddie Self adopts Metallica frontman James Hetfield’s barking grunt, and both the band’s groovy rhythms and guitar solos owe considerable debt to Hetfield and company. Throw in a few nods to 3 Doors Down and Nickelback and you have an impressive-sounding debut—polished, sharp, and radio-ready—that’s nevertheless dispiriting; the band’s legitimate commercial aspirations can’t make up for a lack of creative imagination.