Are we ready for "cow-metal"? Rank and File apparently thinks so and presented a convincing case for yet another rock hybrid Friday at Safari Sam's in Huntington Beach.
Whether brothers Chip and Tony Kinman are trying to dissociate themselves from the "back-to-the-roots" bandwagon they helped launch or they've satiated those needs through frequent performances as an acoustic duo, there is now a heavy (metal) rock accent on their music.
A half-dozen new numbers retained the taut lyrical construction of Rank's earlier songs but added instrumental thrust, due largely to new drummer Bobby Kahr and versatile lead guitarist Jeff Ross. Thematically, the band has widened its horizons to look at troubles in South Africa ("Pistol Dawn") and turn the tables on male chauvinism. Although occasionally more forced than effective, Rank's metal's wallop demonstrated again that musical barriers really are only in the mind of the beholder.