Album Reviews

Willard – Steel Mill (re-release)

Released by : Metal Mind Productions

Release Date: October 5, 2010

Genre: Metal / Grunge / Alternative


Line Up:

Johnny Clint – vocals

Mark Spiders – guitars

Otis P. Otis – guitars

Steve Wied – drums

Darren Peters – bass

Tyson Garcia – bass (replaced Peters)


1. Fifteen

2. Seasick

3. Sweet Kali

4. No Confession

5. Steel Mill

6. Monotony

7. Stain

8. High Moon

9. Hod

10. Double Dragon

11. Folsom

12. Water Sports

It seems that grunge was the root cause of many bands to quickly dissipate in the glam and sleaze days soon after it hit the radio in the early 90’s, with kids gaining a new attitude on life and quickly it became the style with it’s apathetic and angst mood swings and better known for less theatrics then other styles at the time. Willard is a band that you probably hadn’t heard much of, they sorta became stranded in a time machine of metal and grunge and their sound has been described as a heavier than Pearl Jam, rawer than Soundgarden and definitely more aggressive than say, Mudhoney. Plus they had this whole metal thing going on about them, making the album sound like Pantera meets early Nirvana. Regardless of the sound they got the famous producer Jack Endino who’s works includes “Bleach” from Nirvana and Soundgarden.

Metal Mind Productions has chosen to re-release this remastered limited edition print of this fascinating outlook on the other side of grunge. Willard’s influences are definitely gritty and mean, as their doom influenced vibes show full and clear on opener “Fifteen”. The big fat slapping bass dominates each song with authority and the track “No Confession” releases the assault on queue. The more quick pace title track is very well done, with a nomadic approach to the lyrics then gently shifting back into the grandiose monster bass slam.

The intensity is subtle but in your face, the powerful bass jumps right out you. The Pantera influences are there but Willard’s sound is grittier and grungier then any other Seattle grunge bass for that time. You can hear the corroded and angry side of the lyrics which compliments their doom undertones quite well. Interesting release for anybody still fascinated with the Seattle Grunge scene as the band never really made it big, with such a unique sound halting away anything remotely commercial, much success wouldn’t have surprise me one bit. This release is limited to 2000 copies so hurry if you want a deeper understanding of that scene from an unlikely name.

Written by Denys

Ratings Denys  8/10

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