The title of Adrenaline Mob’s second full-length album, Men of Honor [Century Media], represents the band’s collective philosophy. It’s a mindset of respect for both the hard rock genre and their diehard fan base. It also sets the tone for the quartet’s next chapter.
“My dad came up with the title, believe it or not,” admits lead guitarist Mike Orlando [Sonic Stomp] . “We were thinking about names for the record, and he said, ‘Why don’t you guys call it Uomini D’Onore [translation – Men of Honor]?’ I knew that was it. We’re tight like brothers. This is a musical gang. The message is to stand strong with Adrenaline Mob. Regardless of what’s changed, we are men of honor, and we will honor this entity until we die.”
The album remains emblematic of their steadfast adherence to the foundation laid on 2012’s critically acclaimed debut, Omertà, and the 2013 covers EP, Covertà. With veteran drummer A.J. Pero, now in the fold alongside bassist John Moyer [Disturbed], singer Russell Allen [Symphony X, Trans-Siberian Orchestra], and Orlando, the band lands a knockout punch through incendiary solos, unshakable guitar grooves, and crushingly catchy hooks. At the same time, the creative palette expands with acoustic guitars and magnetic melodies. It’s as dynamic as it is destructive.
Upon finishing a South American run with Halestorm in mid-2013, Orlando immediately retreated to his Sonic Stomp Studios to begin working on what would become the group’s second full-length album. Original drummer Mike Portnoy recently departed amicably after the tour citing scheduling conflicts, and the guitar player focused all of his energies on songwriting.
“I was dying to write,” he smiles. “I locked myself in my studio for three weeks and brought Russell 13 ideas afterwards. We had a really clear vision this time around. Omertà was material I had been working on for a long while. I knew exactly where the band had to go here. It came from playing live and seeing the reactions from the audience. Everything we love to do musically is on this album. It’s real, heavy, and melodic hard rock.”
“We kept the integrity of what Adrenaline Mob sounds like, but we pushed the boundaries a little bit too,” continues Allen. “On this record, Mike and I strongly identified the sound of the band. It feels like it came together for real. This is us.”
That no-nonsense gusto courses through the propulsive “Feel the Adrenaline”. The song goes from zero-to-sixty in less than a second, coasting ahead at full speed on a pummeling riff, mind-blowing bass line, and Allen’s inimitable wail.
“It’s about a car, but it’s also about us,” Orlando explains. Are you feeling the Adrenaline we’re bringing you as a band? You can take it a few ways. There’s the double entendre of a beautiful girl and the car too. It’s whatever gets you revved up.”
“You could call that song ‘Adrenaline Mob’,” laughs Allen. “It’s a staple of the band’s heavy sound that mixes the classic vibe and newer elements. It’s a driving force. You crank it, and you go. It gets your blood pumping. We want everyone to be moved by it. It’s very basic, but it’s really powerful. We want listeners to take that ride with us.”
Album opener “Mob Is Back” channels an “Eruption”-style bombast with its grandiose shredding, while “House of Lies” captures an intense energy of its own. About the latter, Orlando goes on, “It’s high energy with a cool groove and sexy bass line. It’s about a strip club. You go into those places, and they’re houses of lies. Make me feel good. Lie to me honey!”
Elsewhere, the final word on “Fallin’ To Pieces” shows the more pensive and poetic side of the group punctuated by gentle acoustic strumming. “It’s different for us,” adds Orlando. “We got the chance to show everything that we can do.”
“I played Mike this idea on the acoustic,” says Allen. “We fed off of each other though. I wanted a ‘tell it like it is’ song. Everybody in New Jersey and Staten Island really suffered from Hurricane Sandy last year. Mike saw it firsthand. I wanted to reach those people with the song and speak to them in a way. That was the inspiration behind it. We all go through things that make you want to give up and lay down and die. You can’t though.”
Since first bursting on to the scene in 2011, Adrenaline Mob has also become an explosive live presence. Touring with everybody from Godsmack to Halestorm, they’ve continually left audiences begging for more worldwide.
Ultimately, they honor those crowds the most. “I want everyone who listens to this to feel psyched,” concludes Orlando. “I want them to get excited about watching us kick ass live. At the end of the day, we’re a live band. The album conveys that. I think it’s going to leave everybody with a variety of emotions, and there’s nothing better than getting a reaction.”
“This is a rock ‘n’ roll mafia,” Allen leaves off. “We’re here, and we mean business. Men of Honor is a stamp that says we honor this music, and we’re never going to betray it.”