Hiatus- S/T

For my first review of a band named after a hernia, I was really hoping for something a little special. Their press release for dummies didn't really offer any kind of legitimate insight into the band so I checked out their MySpace profile. As influences they've got a lovely collection of thumbnails of pretty much the best selling albums by the most fashionable bands in recent history. If the TOOL cover art standing shoulder to crazy shoulder with BJORK was an alarm bell ringing, the sight of the idiot headgear of paparazzi-bothering arsehole JAMIROQUAI is a wall of sirens wailing - much like a particularly lively episode of KOJAK.

Looking at photos of the band you soon realise that they have that cool 'anti-image' going on. Well, that is if your definition of cool is four blokes looking like they could be waiting for a bus. A hipper-than-thou stylist must have gotten a hold of them before the photo shoot for the album cover though - someone thought that dressing like ORSON was a sure fire way to get punters to part with the proverbial hard-earned. So what would a sucker find musically if they did take a chance on this soon-to-be coaster?

I'm a firm believer that an album should open with a real statement of intent from the band. This platter that doesn't matter opens with over a minute of noisy nonsense. Their intentions are clear, then - to make the listener's seconds seem like months. What follows are a dozen examples of perspiration without any inspiration; cliched (and downright bad) lyrics clash with flashes of musical competence to make beautiful music together... for the tone deaf. One track somehow reminds me of PLACEBO - now that might float some boats but to this black-hearted reviewer that sound is akin to that of the fingernails of loved ones being dragged down burning blackboards before the patrons of Slovakian hostels get some power tool practice in on their tortured flesh. Guess what? I ain't too keen. Another song sounds like it should be background musak on some insipid TV travel programme before desperately wanting to morph into a Jeff Buckley tune - all thoughts of accidental drowning quickly melt into wishes of a mercy killing.

This album is as uninspiring as they come. There are a million bands out there more deserving of a record release. There is a slither of hope though:- the singer has a decent voice and local radio stations are always looking out for people to sing their jingles. Seeing this bus stop with instruments live would surely make even the most monogamous of gig-goers look around the (small) room for someone - anyone - willing to take them out the back for a cheap, meaningless knee-trembler, purely to save themselves from certain ear hell. This shiny disc is destined for the bargain bins of the ADD generation - the one cent CD.

by Gaz E.

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