Biohazard - New World Disorder
Well, seeing as thereís a gig review of this lot in here somewhere, I guess I should review the album that inspired a gig. Or something like that. So, courtesy of Vickie Recording Inc once more ... well look, labels can complain about CDs being recorded, but hey, donít send a review copy, then it either has to get taped or it donít get reviewed. Your choice. Probably shouldíve bought it, but I just couldnít be arsed. Maybe after hearing the tape Iíll want to? Maybe thatís my measure for reviewing this album.
This is Biohazard back on top form but also doing that little touch of experimentation that I guess they were claiming to do on the Mateo album (having never heard I canít really say if they did one way or the other). It opens with Resist, featuring the first of those huge gang choruses that they excel in, "I resist the pressure to be who you want me to be, I resist the pressure I resist so I am free". The riff swaggers almost as much as the chorus. Switchback announces "welcome to the rat race you scum sucking leeches, youíre all going to die in a puss ridden vat of your own indifference, depression, angst and self inflicted misery." Ok, welcome to the rat race was the only actual bit Biohazard said, but if anyone wants any lyrics let me know ... Itís full on Biohazard. Managing to attain the balance between aggression and shouting but still retaining a hint of melody and not trying to remove their own throats with sulphuric acid in order to get that hard in hardcore vocal effect. It also helps of course swapping vocals between Evan and Billy, neither trying to imitate the other.
End of My Rope sees Seinfield adopting a full on Hetfield roar and a riff that at the start cross Pearl Jam with Metallica. Well I reckon it does. As it evolves they do their best to recreate the metallic ones more chuggier black album like moments. And to fine effect. Itís anthemic enough to be singalong, without loosing itself up itís own arse. One of their best moments, a bit more diverse for them than normal and who knows, possibly hard for the more puritanical hardcore fan to swallow. And so the pattern follows, Salvation, features another big chorus and a slow thick riff. They managed a consistency in the quality of the songs here as well, and itís maintained through the likes of All For None, the awesome Abandon In Place, Skin, and the excellent Camouflage. There appears to be a lack of the reliance on say "motherfucking Brooklyn" sort of stuff this time, and itís all the better for it. Just let the music do the talking and it works so much better.
At the end of the album they take a tangent with the pure hip-hop of New World Disorder. It may be a good track, it may be brave of the band to do it, it may even be indicative of a link between hip-hop and the style of music Biohazard play, but it just stands out too much on here, and for my mind isnít necessary. It even spoils the album a bit. Generally they know what they do, they know their limitations, they work within it, and doing so theyíve produced an excellent album. Itís the best Biohazard album easily in my opinion. Guess I really ought to buy it.
Must apologise in advance of these next 2 reviews. They were due in the last issue, but then I got possessed by that Earthtone9 classic and went on a bit of a roll. You know how it is. And the space ran out, so they had to get held over until this time. Ah well, better late than never. But even better never late. But these things happen.
Well this arrived the morning after I saw Samiam. The accompanying blurb namechecked them, along with Seaweed, as being an influence. And as Iíd thoroughly enjoyed Samiam, I looked forward to popping this into the old tape deck. So, on the way to work, thatís just what I did. Now whether the influence is great or not I canít tell, cos Iíd not listened to Samiam before that gig. But the melodic riffs, gritty yet melodic singing, and interesting little bits of interplay are there, and thatís kind of the elements that really stood out for me last night.
And itís not bad. Thereís five tracks here, which are all good, but nothing really stands out as being awesome, in perhaps the manner that the Grand Central demo does. But thatís not to say itís bad. Thereís some good riffs going on, and the vocals are full throated and passionate but without losing sight of a melody. Opener Contrition passes by harmlessly enough, but Jonah sticks a little more. But itís strange because thereís something very harmless about the music. Itís something that I think treads a very fine line between being this current relatively trendy emo thing, with soul passion and meaning (really, honest guv), and music that is just safe AOR that is ridiculed and reviled by many. Jonah is on that line, I like it. But itís not challenging, even when the guitars do get relatively noisy. New Scars ups the tempo a bit more and thereís some pleasant enough little things going on in there. The Austin Theory and Slander Syndrome simply pass by, and I even reach for and read some of Kerrang!, which isnít really a good sign. Not bad but nothing to really write home about. Itís a fine line theyíre on, good luck to them as they tread it.
Contact: 61 Kimberely Road, Brighton, East Sussex, BN2 4EN.
Angelica - Why Did You Let My Kitten Die?
Continuing the trend of trying to review whatever Iím sent, is this single from Lancashire all girl band Angelica. The title track is a bit irritating yet catchy. Silly sort of thing that I guess it depends on the mood for whether I like it or not. The vocals are sweet, too sweet. I can only deal with theSTART at the moment for that. It kind of feels like it falls between stools. Itís pop with indie sensibilities, but thereís almost a hidden slightly punkier edge to it. Could that Baz Barret producer be the Consumed bass bod? Dunno? Lipstick Kiss is totally driven by the bassline, Yeah, itís ok, but not really there. It feels a bit disposable at the moment, but maybe thatís what "pop" music is supposed to be all about anyway.
Available On Fantastic Plastic.
Well, due to the delay, Iíve got the next single as well now, called Bring Back Her Head. Itís kind of a gentler track, and the vocals are just tooooo sweet at the moment for me even if the lyrics are somewhat darker, "bring her head back to me", and "take out the knife and cut". Thereís a part which almost sounds like itís a nursery rhyme being put to music. Not the first to try that of course. Nothing Special is harder and better especially in the vocals, but hey, theyíve nicked my condescending review phrase! And King For a Day
Fine perhaps if you like the lighter side of music