Sometimes you get a new CD and you instantly fall in lust with it. Other times, you have the great displeasure of picking up a CD and really disliking it. Then there are those times that you get yourself a shiny new CD and you are actually torn right down the middle... There are parts that you really, really, really like (did I say really?) and there are those other parts that you downright loathe. This CD falls into the latter of those categories for me. There are parts that I think are amazing and there are pieces that I could have done without EVER hearing.
Hailing from the land of all things Aryan (that's Germany for those of you without any historical knowledge) Waterdown really does a fantastic job here of putting together an eclectic mix of music that ranges from a straight up Sunny Day Real Estate style of emo to some really harsh, grinding hardcore in the vein of Grade.
The CD starts with a great anti-political rant called "Bulletproof" and you really get the feeling that this CD is never going to disappoint, but then you listen to the remainder of the songs and it's like a roller coaster ride... You're both up and down, getting whipped from side to side and feeling a little nauseous along the way.
Vocally, this band has some talent, even thought they go with a two singer style which is something I've never been into for some reason. It's always been a big turn off for me. While one of the front men handles the melodic, so-called singing duties, the other tackles belting out the scratchy-voiced, maniacal screams and while the second has a great voice for this music... the melodic singing really has a lot that needs to be worked on. At times he can hit a note with the grace of Bruce Dickinson (I REFUSE to explain who he is to anyone who doesn't already know) and at other times, he just sounds like he is in pain. Track #6 (called "Decaffeinated") is the epitome of bad emo. Truly, it's almost painful to get through. My suggestion, move on, nothing to see here. Hit up the next track please. Actually, move onto "Going Back" (track #8)and I assure you that you will forget about ever hearing that terrible song before it. "Going Back" is a high-powered rockiní hardcore tune that will really make you unable to stand still for even a moment. From there, scan over yet another poorly arranged song to track #10 called "Nothing" which is a great poppy hardcore ditty that is just calling for sing-a-longs and finger-pointing. But like the rest of this record, for every good song, there seems to be another bad one. Never a sign of a great masterpiece.
To call the rest of the band that backs the two front men good, is probably a slap in the face to a group of guys that has really put together a great selection of music that includes some great hooks, awesome melodies and some seriously rockiní breakdowns. Honestly, if you made a wuzzle out of Sunny Day Real Estate, Texas is the Reason and Grade, you would have a really good idea as to how good (musically) this band truly is. Unfortunately for them, they have one too many singers. If they had just stuck with the better of the two, they would have been in great shape and I would have fallen in love with this CD entirely.
There must have been something there for Victory to sign a band that hadn't even toured Europe (when they, in fact, live in Europe) to a recording contract and apparently they saw a lot of it because where I do see flashes of greatness throughout the entire recording, it's just not a given as it should be with any great CD.
Joseph f. Kuzemka is a Contributing Writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.