Before you scream about the new Insane Clown Posse some Nu Metal band of Shinedown wannabe, it goes without saying that those are going to be bad so why even bother because they never made good music in the first place. So this list is for bands who should be making good music but are not.Some of these albums grew on me the wrong way and some of them were just terrible right out of the gate and listening to them all the way through really proved to be a test of endurence.
10- Slayer : "Repentless"
This one grew on me the wrong way and then the point was driven home by hearing how bad these songs are live.If we are going to be honest Slayer is as much Slayer as Kiss is Kiss at this point. We have two original members with Tom and Kerry playing the respective roles of Paul and Gene. So I went into this with trepidation considering how bad they were live this summer. My faith is wavered ever since I was a teen and they came out to evangelist Bob Larson saying they did not worship the devil and it was all a gimmick. At least with "Undisputed Attitude" they were covering punk songs rather than trying to pass them off as being metal.
9-Muerte : "LP"
If you have too much punk in your post-punk it can be a problem, but these guys are just punk pretending to be darker than they are Your average punk band sounds like every other average punk bands it's only the great ones that stand out for the one ...two... three... go. Which is why I am pretty picky about what punk I listen to. The fact the lyrics are in Spanish also adds to the songs all having a similar sound since they are spat out in such a similar shouted tongue. The dynamics are really flat as every thing is full speed go and it's all a blur, the moments that don't fall into this are far and few between and nothing makes me want to return to this album once it is digested.
6-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.Should being the key word here.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.The album cover displayed how I felt about this one.
7-Goat Semen :"Ego Svm Satana"
The fact this band is from South America is going against them. Black Metal seems best served by the northern Europeans. You might think this is a racist statement , but history speaks for it's self and this album proves my point. Despite all the apparent underground buzz this band generated from splits and live albums before launching this debut, they hold more in common with grind core and punk in the hyper flurry of dirt blasts they throw your way. So if you think old Slayer is black metal, then this might work for you. Some of the Slayer worship is almost highway robbery. The way this album sucks it supports my thesis in regards to the superiority of Euro black metal.
6-The Black Dahlia Murder : "Abysmal"
The Bland Dahlia Murder might be a better description of my first impression of this album . It races along with a rapid melo-death gallop. The second song"Vlad, Son of the Dragon" makes me think I am listening to Cradle of Filth if they left their keyboards at home. They get real blasty on the title track but it doesn't make me feel like this is black metal, yes... I know I just referenced Cradle of Filth, but I don't think they are black metal either.Color by numbers middle of the road death metal, with nothing distinguishable.
5- Nurse : "lp"
Atlanta is five years behind most musical trends, the death rock revival is not exception, and even judging by Nurse's new 7 inch it still has not been embraced as this album is just another punk rock 7" . There is a slight darker tinge to the guitar on the opening song, but " I Can See You" throws that out of the window for obnoxious hard core punk with screamed vocals. This could be one of thousands of bands and is typical of Atlanta music that can't seem to grow up out of the punk rock thing as kids from the suburbs move into the city to go to college start a band like this and in fur years never to be heard from again and replaced by another band formed under similar circumstance. The most redeeming aspect of their music being a decent guitar tone, but if this is all funereal hardcore is then don't sign me up, however if I investigate this sub-genre outside of Atlanta, I would likely not find this to be the case.
4-Minsk : "The Crash & the Draw"
This album made me think why listen to these guys when I could just listen to Neurosis? The album sounds great. It is well produced. The more Tool like moments with clean vocals dominate are the albums stronger suits.The bulk of the album is centered around a multi-movement thematic piece called "Onward Procession", but by this juncture in the album every thing sounds like the song that proceeded it until nothing has a defined shape of it's own and this is just one sludged out slab of sound. If you thought this was a masterpiece go listen to Neurosis' "Souls At Zero" album.
3-Systematik : "Bondage"
I ask punk bands to give me the same thing I ask from other forms of music...something that is dark,sardonic,depressing or contemplative in tone,as well as musical dynamic and textured. So you can guess where they tend to fall short in this regard.The singers snotty rasp laced temper tantrum is familiar all the way down to the sneered accents. The first riff that grabs me is on "Domination", but the lyrics are not intelligible enough to decipher if there is a bdsm theme running though the lp or not, though I begin to suspect this is one pissed gimp, though he is more than likely a "little" who needs his diaper changed. I would really be disappointed if I saw them live and they were not in all leather and latex. This is a good lesson in not trusting what a band tags themselves with on their Bandcamp page. They hath appointed themselves death-rock, new-wave and indie rock. The only death rock moment might be the bass tone that opens the album from their it is right to the gutter punk.The fact that Sabotage Records released this also go my hopes up as they have released a very diverse brand of darker punk and post-punk. This is really the first rotten apple in the barrel, though they did put out some more female lead post-punk which I'm about over.
2- Ommadon : "Empathy For the Wicked"
The drumming is really the only impressive element to this. Tone alone only goes so far. There are plenty of bands who have found it that write actual songs with vocals and melody.This is droning but not in a hypnotic way. It quickly becomes background music to me as it seems the first song only has two parts to it in the first ten minutes.Five minutes into the next twenty minute song and it is hanging a difference that could only be measured as a vibration.If you like listening to this you also enjoy the sound of traffic out side your window in rain . The sound get denser and more machine like, but still refuses to become music by the ten and a half minute mark. This is time you will never get back.
1-Cloud Rat : "Qliphoth"
Despite the politically correct out cry that women don't get enough opportunity or respect in metal, there is also the other side of the coin that if it was a man singing instead of a woman would a band like Cloud Rat get the same level of hype that they do? The first song off their new album finds them retreading similar ground. In fact the first two songs are a step backwards as they song like generic punk infused grind core.The guitar becomes a little more sonic on "The Upper World" its too bad the songwriting doesn't compliment it. I began to wonder how was I going to make it through this album after I had begun to feel like there is something more interesting I could be reviewing rather than having to endure this.So I decided to just try to write the things I like about this album. I liked the title "Bloated Goat and I like that there are only eleven more songs after that one and it went down hill from there.One of the worst albums in recent or long term memory.