Win Hands Down
Label: Metal Blade Records
On their seventh album since their not-quite-thrash-yet 1984 debut, these perennial L.A. underdogs mostly sound chunky but clunky, anchored to terra firma even when arrangements get ambitious. "Muscle Memory" and "In An Instant" exceed seven minutes and seem to be aiming for Use Your Illusion-scale epics; "Dive" is closer to Alice In Chains in dreary piano ballad mode. But "Up Yours" is vicious enough and "With A Head Full Of Steam" pushy enough to earn their titles, and "That Was Then, Way Back When" -- about surviving as a "has-been" in the social media age -- is as self-aware as metal gets.