This CD has given me a major dilemma. Play me any one of the 11 tracks here in isolation and I'd love it. Indeed I waxed lyrical about single "Anaemia" a few months back. However, when taken as a whole I find it a draining and unimpressive experience and I've struggled to pinpoint exactly why.
I love "Nihilism" for it's slow brooding guitar work and angry vocals that could have been lifted from Soundgardens "Superunknown" album. I love "Roll Over" for the kind of guitar riff that's going to have the crowd bouncing and trying to shout along with the memorable chorus. There's certainly variety on show and a keen grasp of song dynamics that keeps things from being dull. My personal favourite is "All Eyes On Me". Despite its energetic start it's the closest that they get to a ballad but rest assured - it ain't THAT close - so you can put those lighters back in your pockets!
There's enthusiasm a plenty on display, the singer can swap between tuneful singing to growling without making the lyrics indecipherable and there are guitar riffs a plenty. After repeated playings, I finally worked out the problem - the production. It's clear enough but it's so heavy and leaden that it's almost claustrophobic. That's fine if you want that sort of thing but I couldn't shake the feeling that everything would have benefited from being allowed to breathe a little more which could have been achieved without sacrificing the energy or heaviness.
So, all in all a power packed
debut album, brimming with promise and let down only lightly by the production.
Perfect for listening to in small bites but a bit too much to take in one sitting.
by Phil T.
Visit the Zico Chain Website