The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world




MAY 5 2014



Presumably not named after the BSA Mach 22 bicycle, Philadelphia’s Hard Rockers MACH22’s debut album ‘Sweet Talk Intervention’ lands on May 6 and it’s a date well worth adding to the calendar if you are a fan of big riffs shot through with bluesy rhythms and a nod to the greats of classic rock, yet with a refreshing modern touch.

Setting out their stall from the off ‘Constant Denier’ has a distinct bluesy vibe built on a hard rock riff (courtesy of Sebastian LaBar the son of Cinderella’s Jeff) and a cool vocal that has both depth and a restrained power. First video ‘Go Ahead’ is even more immediate, but cut from the same cloth of bluesy Hard Rock. It’s the prefect second track in that it grabs you by the collar and screams “look at me” in no uncertain terms, laying down a ‘more rock less blues’ classic Hard Rock template that makes you think of latter-day bands like Ireland’s The Answer. It’s a case of so far so good, though as always the test is if the band can sustain the great first act.

‘Don’t You Give Me’ hints at a positive answer to that question adding sweeter backing vocals and intensifying the groove.  What begins to strike you about Mach22 is that the band has that confidence of their convictions that means they don’t stray from a winning formula, and aside from the odd funky infusion (like the semi-rap on ‘Don’t You Give Me’ and the funky bass on ‘I’m Just a Man’) they stay true to the initial template. That’s not to say they sound jaded or bereft of ideas, indeed they push and pull the formula for all their worth.    

If you want to know if they can take a change of pace ‘Stone Rose’ gives you the answer in a moody slower number that simmers and burns and brings out the best in vocalist Lamont Caldwell and sees the rest of the band pull equal weight. It’s the sort of centrepiece song you can imagine blasting out on a hot summer night, a nods to bluesier bands like Black Crowes and Cry of Love without slipping quite as deep into the blues.

The spiky riff of ‘Backslider’ again ups the tempo to explode into your earphones, it’s a great hard rocker, while ‘Made To Love’ adds the funk to the mix and has a restrained power that almost works but feels like it needs a little extra kick somewhere, even with the cool guitar-work.

‘Radio’, one of the standouts here, reimagines Tesla playing the Rolling Stones. It’s a song that really underlines the raw potential here, while managing to keep a modern edge and is both true to template and strangely radio-friendly. The next track ‘One Trick Pony’ takes us down a notch again; with a bluesier vocal and vibe that’s not a million miles away from the aforementioned Answer at their best. Losing track ‘Nevermind’ hits as hard as anything here but doesn’t quite have the edge that a final track needs to leave you begging for more.   

If there is anything missing, especially working in the space they do it’s the huge epic song that would really seal the deal leave you wanting more. That may well come in time and on the basis of what we have here it’s worth betting that Mach22 will be a name we will all be talking about in the future and claiming we were there from the start.  

This is modern hard rocking blues for the masses.   


Check out the official video for “Go Ahead” here:

Catch the band at Rocklahoma in May. Visit for more information.


MACH22 is:

Lamont Caldwell - Vocals
Sebastian LaBar - Lead Guitar/Vocals
Ted Merrill - Rhythm Guitar/Vocals
Jaron Gulino - Bass/Vocals
Damian MonteCarlo - Drums



by Mark Diggins