Monday, June 22, 2015

Ken Mode : "Success"

I sometimes forget that there is an entire generation of kids coming up now who missed out on the 90s . So this will sound like this album just came out of nowhere. They have Steve Albini on this album, which should take their post-hard core tinged noise rock to the next level. They drum sound gets pretty big and the album opens with some unique placement of its instruments. The guitars grunge out like the are from "In Utero". Vocals aside I can already say I like this better than their last album. It almost sounds like Rollins comes in on the end of the first song. The vocal narrative begins to gnaw on me on the second. There are some cool guitar sound, the bass kinda disappears, but the mix is odd all the way around.

There is a swing to the angular "The Owl..". The drumming is impressive, but does this make it a good song? They find a rowdy punk rock energy to kick into "I Just Liked Fire' that sounds like Black Flag colliding with At the Drive in. The annoying vocals lament about how we live in a privileged world on the more somber drive of "Management Control". By "A Passive Disaster" it is beginning to sound like a Rage Against the Machine b-side with out the solos. The song "Failing at Fun Since 1981" really lives up to its name. It is hardly worth paying attention to. The vocals stay the same though a more enjoyable tension is built on "A Catalogue of Small Disappointments". The get a little darker when they close out the album with a brooding bass line driving the song. This album's main offense aside from sometimes boring me, was the annoying spoke to yelled vocals. They stepped out from behind the Amp Rep bandwagon, but have move into a much less flattering era of the 90s. I am surprised Steve signed on for this, but hey you gotta pay the rent some how. They have moved away from metal and that doesn't bother me. I'll give this album a 4.5, some times it was OK back ground music , but after the first song never really grabbed me again. The album cover displays how I felt about it overall.

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