Heavy Metal Elite at The Eighth Room
Written By: Tommy Gilbert
The atmosphere was electric with anticipation, and as I scanned the room, I couldn’t help but notice the presence of some of Nashville’s Heavy Metal rock elite. The venue, known as the Eighth Room, was a hidden gem that I had yet to experience. From the moment I stepped inside, I could sense that tonight was going to be something special. Despite its modest size, the Eighth Room exuded a unique charm, adorned with chandeliers and couches that set the perfect tone for an unforgettable evening.
This was the stage where Rock City Machine Company was set to make their live debut, and the excitement was palpable. As veterans of the music business, these guys knew how to command a stage, and it was evident that many in the audience had tasted success themselves. The vibe was laid back yet charged with the energy of a crowd ready to witness something extraordinary. If you were familiar with the legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll Residency or the iconic Rare Hare, you knew that tonight was about to unfold into a rock spectacle that would be talked about for weeks to come. The Eighth Room may not be the biggest venue in Nashville, but on this night, it was the epicenter of a rock revolution, and Rock City Machine Company was about to leave an indelible mark on its storied stage.
From the first chord to the final encore, Rock City Machine Company took the stage with unwavering intensity and showcased their exceptional form throughout the entire performance. The backstory of their latest album added a layer of intrigue — most of it was crafted during the tumultuous days of the COVID era, a period that witnessed a surge in creativity facilitated by virtual collaboration through Zoom-like setups.
What sets this power trio apart is their impressive collective resume, boasting three members who’ve shared the stage with none other than rock legends Ace Frehley and Gene Simmons. The seamless synergy among these musicians speaks volumes about their prowess. At the forefront, leading the charge, is Ryan Spencer Cook, a force to be reckoned with as both a singer and guitarist. His charismatic stage presence and soulful vocals set the tone for the night. Jeremy Asbrock, the masterful guitarist, brought a sonic intensity that resonated with the crowd, delivering blistering solos that left the audience in awe. On the bass, the foundation of their thunderous sound, is the incredibly skilled Phillip Shouse, whose rhythmic prowess added depth to every note.
The Set List
The set list was a testament to their dedication and artistry, as Rock City Machine Company fearlessly presented their entire album, track by track. The songs, born out of the challenges posed by the pandemic, came to life in a live setting, proving that this band not only thrives in the studio but also knows how to electrify a stage. From the infectious hooks to the raw, unbridled energy, each performance was a sonic journey through the heart and soul of rock ‘n’ roll. Rock City Machine Company didn’t just play a set; they painted an audio masterpiece, leaving the crowd on the edge of their seats, hungry for more.
This record is a journey through the annals of rock history, weaving together a tapestry of influences that spans the iconic decades of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. For aficionados of those eras, this album is a treasure trove, delivering a rock experience that pays homage to the giants of the genre. The unmistakable echoes of AC/DC’s thunderous power, the anthemic prowess of Def Leppard, the virtuoso guitar styling reminiscent of Van Halen, and the gritty, blues-infused swagger akin to Aerosmith are all expertly intertwined into the very fabric of their music.
As you dive into the tracks, it’s evident that Rock City Machine Company isn’t merely mimicking the greats; they’re channeling the spirit and essence of rock’s golden years. Each note, riff, and rhythm resonates with a familiarity that harks back to the golden age of the genre. Amidst the diverse influences, there’s a standout anthem that caught my ear, the laid-back Summer song. It’s precisely what you’d expect from a track with that title: a sun-soaked, feel-good composition that transports you to a carefree summer day. The song not only captures the essence of the season but also showcases the band’s versatility, proving they can seamlessly transition from high-energy rockers to laid-back, groove-infused anthems.
In essence, this record is a love letter to rock enthusiasts across generations, a testament to the enduring power of the genre. Whether you’re a nostalgic fan of the classics or a newcomer eager to explore the roots of rock ‘n’ roll, Rock City Machine Company’s album promises a journey through time and sound that will not disappoint. It’s a celebration of the past, a nod to the present, and a declaration that the spirit of rock ‘n’ roll is very much alive and thriving.
Diving deeper into the tapestry of Rock City Machine Company’s performance, the gritty allure of “When Trouble Finds You” stands out as a highlight. The dirty vibe in this track captures the essence of raw, unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll. It’s a journey that pulls you in with its edgy riffs and soulful vocals, a testament to the band’s ability to infuse their music with an authentic, rebellious spirit.
Their rendition of Bob Seger System’s classic “Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man” is a true gem, showcasing their reverence for rock history. The fact that they chose this track as the subject of their first music video speaks volumes about their dedication to honoring the roots of the genre. For those who haven’t experienced it yet, the video is a must-watch on YouTube, providing a visual accompaniment to the band’s electrifying performance.
As the set progressed, “Can’t Stop the Train” demonstrated the band’s versatility, delivering a high-octane track that keeps the energy pulsating through the venue. The set reached its zenith with the infectious ballad “The Last Time,” a captivating finale that showcases the band’s ability to craft catchy, emotionally resonant tunes.
For an ’80s rock enthusiast like myself, Rock City Machine Company delivered exactly what I crave in a live show. The nostalgia-laden tracks and the seamless incorporation of classic influences created an atmosphere that felt like a time warp back to the golden era of rock.
While the only disappointment was the brevity of the set, especially by the standards of a seasoned rock aficionado, it’s important to note that this was the band’s inaugural album performance. With time, their repertoire is bound to expand, promising longer and more electrifying shows in the future. The band had the ability to captivate and leave the audience craving additional doses of their musical prowess.
In closing, Rock City Machine Company lives up to their name, delivering a performance that not only rocks on but also leaves a lasting impression. Their debut album is a testament to the enduring spirit of rock ‘n’ roll, and as they continue to carve their place in the rock landscape, there’s no doubt that their name will resonate even louder in the halls of music history. Rock on, indeed.
Get more clips from the show HERE