Monday, April 27, 2009

Drugzone - Digital Screams

My first reactions:

"Yes yes, yes!"

"Wait, what? Don't wuss out on me now with the vocals..."

(Still on first track: "Welcome to Sin City")

"...Eugh I know I'm welcome in Sin City but you're not, lead singer..."

"...I really wish this was either purely instrumental or death-metal growled."

Moving further into the album, I applaud the lyrics, which are intelligent, and I empathise deeply with this guy wanting to present his message in his own voice. But that's just the problem- this is a band, and the lead singer successfully detracts all the attention away from the awesome beats, bass, blips and bizarre guitar.

Things start to make more sense as I realise that the singer is, in fact, female. Nothing against female singers but it just doesn't suit this style of music. It reminds me of Evanescence, and that's a bad thing.

After it becomes clear that the awesome bass blips etc. is what they do for every song, I strain to find anything exhilirating in this album.

Having said that, there are some good moments that fall fairly shy of spine-tingling, sort of like lower-vertabrae wiggling. When she really lets her voice go she gets a great gravelly sound out of it that, rather than grabbing attention, sits nicely in the mix, and there are those nice gothic piano moments essential to counteract the wall-of-sound production that prevails the rest of the time.

And some of these tracks have a "fun evil" sense about them. I like bands that look at things from more than one angle, and "fun" is a good way to look at evil. But that means that overall, taking these guys too seriously is a mistake, and not just because that could lead someone to mass murder
with tracks like "I Hate Humans" and "Make Me Kill", but because the whoopy whirls and soaring synths sort of demand light-heartedness (*whispers* I don't think that's what the band is going for though).

As the album draws to a close and I actually look forward to not having to play these guys again, having endured some rather banal tracks, I decide to do some research, and stumble across some photos. They're dressed in typical black, they all have black hair, the girl is, of course, covered in goth makeup to excess (so she stands out from the others who are only wearing a standard amount of goth makeup), one guy has one of "those" (black) beards and one guy is actually deliberately looking away from the camera like Southpark so awesomely sent up in that one episode. Sorry, guys, but Automatic Fail.

If the music was at all gripping, intense, and awesome you could forgive their image, but in the end, they're just trying too hard sonically as well as visually. The only track that I would recommend is "Rose Petal", an interesting gothic take on blues, that falls just before the closing track, being an only-ok remix of an earlier track. I would listen to "Rose Petal" again, but apart from that, not recommended at all.

Drugzone at VampireFreaks.com (it's the first page that crops up with a Google search, go figure)

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