Dead Even

Of Constant Rotation EP (

Mushroomhead's Steve "Skinny" Felton is going to be a big-name metal producer sooner rather than later -- but enough about him; he just mastered, mixed, and produced the assault that is Of Constant Rotation. Concentrate instead on the Cleveland quintet Dead Even. Their first official release is relentless, choppy, high-speed chug metal with a few pronounced hardcore influences. (Lead guitarist Matthew Brewer logged a European tour with 25 Ta Life last year; singer Jedediah C. "JC" Koszewski did a bid in Integrity.)

The jarring disc opener "The Joke That No One Gets" climaxes in a shout-along chorus and Kreator-like trip-hammer fretwork. "Bury Every Hero" plays like One Voice-era Agnostic Front, all wrecking-ball low end, with JC trying to force his larynx out of his body. The hidden track is a cover of Guns & Roses' perfectly nasty "You Could Be Mine" -- and Dead Even's version is a little more dangerous.