Mogwai - Come on die young.
Oooh I say. "This is just another example of those nasty bands corrupting the minds of the young generation and encouraging them to die. And just look at the cover. Demonic ritual enticing people to die rather than look like that. Oooh, I think Iím going to get in all of a fluster and go oooooh a lot". Ah, so thatís what it feels like to be a moral crusader, defending the youth of today. And I donít mean the band. Ah yeah, I know of those people. Anyway, absolutely fuck all to do with the album, but just wanted to type that anyway.
CODY is a bit puzzling really. Pretty much entirely instrumental, itís a moody little fucker, but just has you dying (sorry) for some singing, some lyrics. Just that extra something to make you return the CD to the player on a more regular basis. Itís not that lyrics and vocals are the important element, but that itís a question of balance, and for all the musical quality on show here, and there is some, that balance just isnít quite there. Because as we reach the "middle" of the CD, thereís three consecutive tracks of 9 minutes or longer, and it just doesnít work for me as it should do. Sure, theyíre technically pretty good, they explore the concept of noise, but you feel there needs to be something to break them up. The first few tracks at least are relaxing affairs. Hard to describe this one, it's music pure and simple, which doesn't give me much else to grip onto in order to describe it. Dunno. Crap review. Sorry.
Douglas - Persona
Having missed pretty much the entirety of their set when they supported Samiam, I decided to take the plunge and buy the CD from them. Only 7 quid, and theyíre from Cardiff. So Iíll just have to forgive the dire name (apologies to any Douglasí out there, itís just a crap name for a band.).
Anyway, weíve got 14 tracks here. Itís playing in that old melodic punky sort of area. Itís got the obligatory "funny" cover tune. This time itís the theme from Cheers. Itís ok, but pointless, and Snuff wouldíve done it better. Better to concentrate on the rest of the material. Which is ok, but you either have to be into this thing or persevere. Iím sort of on the border. Tracks such as Four a.m could tip me over on the positive side of things, but for all those standouts, thereís something that seems to just float on by regardless, such as Fish Eyed World. Though 0891 is a classic sounding so much like The Vandals and Time To Leave brings to mind Bad Religion.
In general, I like it, but maybe Iíve heard one too many recently. Itís all the same sort of thing, and I find myself yearning for variety in this style. Just as I do in the hardcore scene, and the new metal scene. Itís ok finding your niche, but ploughing it constantly just gets old. But if youíre into the whole melodic punky sort of thing, have tendancies towards things on FatWreckChords, Epitaph, Nitro and those suspects, ten if you havenít met Douglas, maybe itís time you got yourselves aquainted.
Contact: Douglas, 7 Holly Grove, Lisvane, Cardiff CF4 SUJ.
PN - Daybreak Serenity
So impressive at the all dayer that I purchased this, their latest CD.
Ooh, just read a review of this in Kerrang! It got 1K and the "is this what new skool" has come to. So hereís your chance to compare my views with those of those who know. Sort of thing. And if you trust what K! says, then you need proceed no further.
So am I talking to myself then at the moment? Well, on the off chance that Iím not, what you have here is a metallic hardcore release. Yes, the vocals will put a lot of people off. Itís not my favourite as Iíve said on a number of occassions. But sometimes you have to take it as a part of the whole, and think how it fits in with the music. Itís fairly brutal music, so I guess requires that in the vocals. Though a touch of change and melody would be nice. And lo, there was some. Cos there is variation in here.
The opening track, Message Of Hope opens with a classic metal riff and grind, before those hardcore vocals enter. However, within the space of the first verse, the vocals have gone from the strangulated scream through a more melodic phase, and eventually everything just breaks down totally. To be fair, it's probably the sort of thing that if they were trying to provide a new metal sort of music accompaniement, then I'd have a whinge about it just being the now customary and boring gruff/melodic sort of thing. But it's musically within the context of a metal/hardcore band, and in this genre it's just that little bit of variety that maybe some bands are missing. Sure, I'd much prefer it if the emphasis was on melodic with the occassional excursion into gruff, but that's just me having spent my growing up years musically reared on much more melodic music than I listen to now. And of course cos it would turn entire scenes on their head. Which would be good right?
And to be fair as well, they've got a handle on quite a few pretty decent riffs, which always helps of course with Trendsetter riding along on a nice classic thrash sort of fiff. Work Of Art opens with a slower more restrained chug, before throwing in a hint of a riff the Deftones might use and then adds a little Slayer like tinge. So many points. It's not entirely original, nothing is, but they do it well. Fighting Frontiers runs the entire gamut of styles, ending with an almost death like growl. Darkened Fall is up, again, it's a classic thrash jumpy jumpy riff. Think the start of Slayer's Raining Blood, you know how those guitars go. That's the sort of things I'm on about here. I even think I hear some hints of Medulla Nocte, but I've a feeling I'm going to look at that comparison soon and think "you prat Dave". Towards the end of Worthless there's even a jangly bit that brings to mind some of the more fluid moments of Mr Bungle. And that's surely an even more debatable comparison. It was only brief though, that's my defence.
Of course, Kerrang! knows what it's on about. It's professional. You? You takes your chance. And the chances are if you've never been into hardcore, you'll agree with Kerrang! and hate this. If you're into hardcore you'll probably find a little too much metal and some of the vocals too close to new-metal territory. So you'll agree with Kerrang! Me? I just like to be a contradictory bastard. I reckon this is pretty damn good.
Mind you, hidden track syndrome ... need I say anymore? Nope. In that case I won't bother describing it.
Available on Midas Productions or through Houshold Name in the UK.