Mentioned the demo by this band a couple of issues ago, and now they have a CD out. I dont know if youd call it an EP or a CD demo. Does it really matter? Well, if you think demos mean shitty quality and you wont touch them with someone elses bargepole, well firstly wake up, and secondly, this is very professional sounding. Treat it as a fully fledged release.
The bio that I received with it states the history of the band. No surprise there. But much of the history of the band surrounds the fact that a Mr J. Davis used to be a part of a band with a few members of Juice.
The importance of that? Well, because, like many other bands at the moment, there is a strong Korn influence running through this. And I mean strong. The reason I point out the history, is because its reasonable to assume that it has to be taken into account for this band. The people creating the sound, were, to a degree, already creating this years ago. Its just that their singer went to join another outfit. But lets forget the bio. The music is the key.
So Im going to review this two ways.
Firstly, if Im being objective here, there are some good songs on here, its well played and very well produced. A fine package. And if youre a fan of the Korn style of music, then its an EP that you certainly have to make sure you get.
There are 5 tracks on offer, and first track Seven lays down the Juice blueprint. Groove based, detuned, and atmospheric vocals, which build to a climax. This is pretty much carried throughout the EP.
Its where, for my money, Korn shouldve gone with the second album instead of the hip-hip of LiP. As such I would rate this as better than LiP. Third track Fly sees the band adopting more of their own style, and its a good song. As are all the tracks on here. Its better, more original, when they hold back on things. When the angst and tempo is lifted, it becomes any other band.
But the second way to review it focuses around the name Korn. In many respects, this second way of reviewing it isnt a review of Juice, but of a whle genre.
Now the 100% dyed in the wool fan of this style of music will no doubt be able to point out where there are differences. And I accept that. Its just that for most people, it will be hard to see. For me, theres similarity in the guitar sound, the bass tone, the drum sound, the vocal style, the musical style, song structure. Its everywhere. And if you like it, fine. Personally Im getting to the point now where I think that this style of music and the whole genre is approaching the point of implosion. I remember it happening with thrash, funk metal, grunge. Whatever particular genre. It always happens. And thats usually not because bands are bad, or the albums are bad or anything. Its just that there ends up being too many one trick ponies. And so it implodes. And along with the one trick ponies, a few thoroughbreds are lost as well.
And thats where I feel this style of music is heading. A few bands have started making the break and trying to diverge from the standard blueprint. And more need to do it if they are to survive the next 18 months. Its an accusation I would level at Juice. If it wasnt for that history. Is it fair of me to do so in this case? Youll have the answer to that dependant on whether you like this style of music or not. See, it is very hard to be objective. Im not dyed in the wool with any genre. I listen. I love. But I will not become so restricted in my outlook that I dont see the bad in the styles I like, and fail to see the good in others. I move on with what I listen to.
Yes, I should judge this on its own merits. And Im trying. I like it. It is good. But, and maybe here is the crux, it reminds me so much of Korn and Korn are irritating me. I love the debut (much preferred it when Jon sang and had tinges of Patton in his voice, like on Daddy), but not coming from a hip hop background, I struggled to get my head around LiP. I think they have an attitude problem at the moment, at least thats how its coming across in the press. And there are a few other bands I would level that at. Therefore, Im not overly fond of them at the moment. And that is impeding my judegment of others that sound like them. Thats unfair I know, but Im just being honest here. I think I would play this a hell of a lot, but, at the moment my attitude is going to stop me. It feels like that record that got you through a trauma, or a broken heart. As much as you love it, it becomes difficult to listen to after a while through no fault of its own. Guilt by association or something like that. Same here, its not Juices fault that Im not listening to this as much as I wouldve done. If youre being less of a c*!t than me, youll probably love it.
The best, and the worst I can say is its the album Korn needed to record instead of LiP. The best, cos the debut album is a classic, the worst, cos Im not talking Juice.
Ok, the bottom line. If youre not currently as judgemental as I am, then give this a listen. If you love Korn, and the whole sound and genre, then you have to buy this. If you detest Korn with every sinew in your body, probably this isnt going to make you the happiest person in the world. You decide.
The EP is available for $12 The demo $6.
Juice Swag, attn: M Hurd,P.O. Box 25834
Seattle, Wa 98125-1334, USA