"Don't Get Fooled by the Free Beer!"
So... Alkoholizer from Italy is back. They were pretty prominent in the revival with the Drunk or Dead... album in 2009 which was nothing special, but a pretty decent revival album that could fit into any party. After that album the band kind of disappeared but in 2013 they released an EP to state that the Sardinian boars had returned and now we've been offered a new studio album.
It has been five years since the last studio album and since then, and things have changed within the Italian band. Vocalist Alessandro and drummer Gabriele who both played on Drunk or Dead... have departed. A new drummer has been brought in and bassist Fabrizio is now handling the vocals. Besides that the band also recruited a second guitarist, which results in a couple of solo vs. solo situations but that is about it. It seems pretty clear to me that Alkoholizer didn't want to change anything from their last record as Fabrizio's vocals is just a replica of Alessandro's. And even though I liked the old vocals better, they were still not mindblowing or anything. Just a kind of Tom Araya light... So what you're left with in the end is that Alkoholizer doesn't seem to have moved an inch.
In addition to that, Free Beer....Surf's Up!!! could easily have been released as a quick follow up in 2011 or so. It follows the exact same recipe as the previous album but it's not quite as good. In spite of the better production on this album, it lacks the real party thrashers that Drunk or Dead... contained. The least they could've done with an album title and cover like this, was to put a Sacred Reich cover on the damn playlist... but no. Negativity aside, of course there's good songs to be found and a fair amount of interesting thrash riffs in songs like Faceless, System Aberration and Breathalize and Destroy!! which also ends up being my favourites from this record.
So what's left of it in the end? There's a couple tracks here and there that you could add to your party playlist, but even for that I would still go back to the previous album. The album feel redundant to me when the only thing there's better than the previous album is the production and both songs and vocals where better on the last album as well. So if you're okay with getting more of the same then you'd like this album, if not, then there's more interesting releases to get. Not quite the comeback I had hoped for from the Sardinian boars.
You can find Alkoholizer on Facebook to keep up to date and check their material at Bandcamp.