I still do music reviews, guys! Let’s dive straight in…
Am I unfair to say The Offspring? Actually if I were to summarise, it’s The Offspring crossed with the incidental music of The League of Gentlemen that means that the writing knows how to make a chord awkward. That’s super important. As always you look back and see “oh they did support The Offspring.” This is all early days stuff of course!
Our tone is set in our first song as usual, Fazer. Would anyone else find it unusual that this song is in 3/4? Firstly, I want to say to those that say this isn’t metal, it’s something else, heavy rock, post-hardcore (thank you wikipedia), my point still stands! Beat-wise, these genres are influencing each other and flirting constantly. Secondly… and hear me out. Metal as a genre is no stranger to a foreign time signature. I find some of them fascinating and the arhythmic steps that are utilised can be fascinating, see my Primus or Rush reviews. At the very least though, tracks are in 4/4 – for a sense of progression, or else a little subvertive. 3/4 has a very cyclic feel and, should you have the mind to, you could waltz to this track. I also quite like the dropping to the more acoustic pause in the track at about 1:45. Oh look at me talking way too much about track 1 again. Onwards!
Progressing, you cannot ignore my beat-based babble from the point-of-view of the sheer change in feel that goes from track 1 to track 2, Head to Wall. The sheer feel of different time signatures changes the album’s pace. It does work and it works a little more than the vocals do. I’m sad to say it but it’s a little one-note than I would like. Vocal style can be as highlighted or as swept away as one cares to make it. This style, however, spotlights the vocals to a large degree. Mix up the sound a bit! Yes, yes, yes… I know I crave variation from my albums; it’s become horrendously clear that I have the attention span of a goldfish playing naughts and crosses, simultaneously being wooed by complicated backstories, while ignoring the fact that the current plot makes no sense.
Continued listening shows some goddamn talent for rhythm and real seductive use of guitar, when it wants to. The love in this album is in the writing of it. Honestly, I feel that this type of music appeals to those who study maths and the more numerical side of science or computer programming because it actually appeals to, nae, nuzzles, the cerebral side of music.
For me, this album plays with such a definitive style, one that is really inherently clever. Listen to some of the guitar moments in Unfulfilled or Baphomet and you just want to sit there with a pen and paper (if you’re me), or a guitar (if you’re marginally more sane) and break down its construction. What’s really puzzling is that the album seems to have tracks that show off it’s construction and intelligence and then also those one can label as SINGLES that people will probably want to listen to but are hiding what MAY BE a hidden depth.
Melodically it is too much – I’m sorry… It’s just a little – I really am sorry… It emulates – last warning – it emulates Morrisey in that that vocal line cannot move away from the same pitch and, well, melody. It’s not Morrisey of course in that the vocals are more cutting and impressive, as though you had transformed Pavarotti’s powerful tenor voice into the hulk version of it.
The album is a spectacle, showing off its intrinsic talent and taking a well deserved bow at the end with Transparent (oh look, he mentioned a track). If you’re analysing it as I tried to though… Well… You wander away feeling a little sad that despite the fact that your steak might have been cooked to literal perfection, it was served with overboiled potatoes.
Is this album for you?
It’s a hark back and The Offspring wasn’t wrong. This is frankly, the finest advice I can give. It’s a 90’s album but if you’re into a vague timelessness in this area, this album is for you. Frankly, make it all 90’s and invest… If you don’t want to, you won’t want to… Ah hang on if late 2000’s is your thing. Maybe. Also maybe for those into the evolution of Metal…
Cerebrally really quite interesting with some disappointing vocals
- Writing: 8.5/10
- Performance: 6/10
- Style: 6.5/10