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Standard rock. Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Three Doors Down, Matchbox 20, and the list goes on and on. And on. Add Smoke off Vinyl to that group for they are no doubt a solid rock band, but do they have what it takes to rise above the rest? Let us “Dilate,” their new album, and find out.
Heavy guitars and deep vocals have Smoke staggering on the line separating hard rock from metal. Though when they slow it down it’s obvious they gravitate toward the former category, and though not all groups necessitate categorization, a band like Smoke, with it’s mainstream chords and predictable melodies. It’s almost as if the band is afraid to take a risk in any direction. The songs sound oddly familiar, and though corporations bank on this, with a McDonalds in every town, in music I want something original, something that I’ve never heard before, or why wouldn’t I pull out my Pearl Jam CD? Smoke is simply more of the same songs on the radio that have you wondering, “Was that Matchbox Doors Jam?”
A solid group of musicians lacking concrete hooks and originality, Smoke Off Vinyl has a great name, yet it’s a misnomer—the group is doing nothing but regurgitating styles of the past and calling them their own.
Eric Myers is a Contributing Writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.