2005 saw GasHead release its ultimate
thrash instro-metal CD with the humorously titled Knuckles
Avec Sombreros. This time around GasHead had become more
than just a project, the core of Mike Lopez, Derek Maness and Nate
Scofield was truly a band. Knuckles displayed the direction the
three were heading: heavier rhythms. The sound was akin to Satriani
being influenced by the Bay-area thrash scene from the eighties.
As progressive as the band could be at times, even the uninitiated
listener was captured by the band’s groove. There was only
one thing holding GasHead back -- a full-time bass player. That
would come, but not before the band made the giant decision to include
a vocalist in the mix. It was hard to turn their backs on what they
had accomplished in the instrumental genre to this point, but perhaps
they knew somewhere in the back of their minds that a new level
of synchronicity was around the corner.
Kronow’s James Brennan was a label mate with GasHead and
a like-minded Testament fan. He agreed to cut a couple newly written
songs with the band to serve as a recruiting tool. Juarez,
in particular, gave the band the confidence that they could in deed
write a kick-ass metal song. Before long, Josh Purdy, who had at
one time sung for The Mandrake, joined the band onstage to perform
Testament’s The Preacher, and the band was impressed enough
to offer him the gig.