Canada’s Nervcast show a lot of promise on this self-released LP.

They don’t show a whole lot of originality, it’s true – the band wear their influences proudly on their sleeves for sure. But we’ve all got to start somewhere, and despite these little moans the fact remains that as singers and players Nervecast are really pretty good.

Chemical Solution kicks things off with a nice chuggy set of riffs and some old-school Hetfieldian roar. Everett Mason (who also sings) and Kevin Daliri mesh together nicely and provide some clean, melodic soloing into the bargain.

Next up is Fallen Angels, which moves things on a little stylistically from Ride the Lightning to the Black album, and throws a few neat Alice in Chains harmonies into the mix by way of a bonus. It’s eminently listenable, even if you’ve heard it all before, and once again there’s some pretty scorching lead playing to enjoy.

Third track Moonstruck is the ace in the pack. It’s the sort of melodic hard rock/metal synthesis that Nervcast’s compatriots Striker have quietly been cornering the market in of late and, if it doesn’t quite scale those heights yet it’s certainly getting there. Equal parts mid eighties Iron Maiden and, well, late eighties Maiden actually, it’s a total stormer of a track, and one that’s going to be on my stereo pretty much permanently for a while to come I think.

The EP’s title track rounds things out and returns to the melodic thrash of the opening track for it’s template. Mason does a great job on the vocals when he eases off the Jaymz juice and just goes for it as he does here, showing that, as the band filter in more of their own style as opposed to somebody else’s a bright future surely awaits. But as is, this is still an excellent introduction to a band I’m certainly looking forward to keeping tabs on.

Nervcast will release Locked and Loaded on October 21st.