Tuesday, January 15, 2002 @ 12:47 AM
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Now fair readers, this is Jeff Kerby, inmate #NM87031 with your weekly KNAC.COM fairy tale. For today’s show, in order to review Gladyss Patches new offering A Wish This Simple, we are going to have to take a trip back in time. You know what era we are going to have to travel to as well. See, we’re gonna go back to the days when every lunch you ate meant having to visit the local high school cafeteria where you just knew that the jocks would be claiming one table, the preps or geeks would be schmoozing on another while still yet the last seats in the corner were sure to be taken by gothic looking Cure fans. Of course, these were the kinds of anorexic, androgynous monstrosities that wore eye shadow and talked about how sensitive they were and how Dave Gahan from Depeche Mode had invariably changed their lives. Obviously, I never mentioned any rockers being in the cafeteria because we all know that they were either out smoking in the boy’s room or behind some building. Back in those days it would be obvious to any person viewing this scene for more than two minutes that student socialization was something to be kept strictly within the confines of said groups—a behavior that never deviated—all of this, of course, going to prove that even then we knew that People Are People was a big damn fruity lie.
What I suspect happened was that during this time there were these five effeminate, eye shadow-wearing guys sitting in the corner going -- “Mike, I feel so sensitive. I would give anything to be a rock star.”
“Yes Jordan, I too would give anything to be able to convey my feelings to the world. We could be hip just like Love and Rockets.”
“I don’t know guys, Love and Rockets? That’s setting the bar kinda high isn’t it? Maybe we could at least be like Modern English.”
“Hell guys. Just stop it. We’ll never be cool like New Order or Ministry. Just eat your slaughter burger and contemplate the persona of Morrissey and what he means to our universe.”
Little did these boys know, but the spirit of an old hooker named Gladyss Patches was watching and listening. Ever since she her untimely death in the late 1800’s from an insanely painful case of canker sores and geyser-like bout with dysentery, her job had been to recruit souls for Beelzebub. Viewing this as an obvious opportunity, Gladyss visited the boys at the Goth Soda Shop that afternoon for the sole purpose of explaining her proposition to them. The guys were so excited that they hastily signed a contract before she even had the chance to explain to them that in order to grant their rock star desires she would have to transport them ahead in time since all positions related to soul selling for star musician status were booked until the year 2002.
That pretty much leads us to the present where these five guys now appear on the back of the cd I’m holding in my hand, sporting pensive expressions while having obviously spent copiously at both Revlon and Supercuts. Funny thing is, even though it’s a new millennium, this band still looks exactly like those guys who sat in the corner of the cafeteria. When lead singer, Renz, states in the liner notes that “to all those who tortured me in life…picture my finger,” you realize that it sounds just like them too. In this case, the apparition known as Gladyss Patches not only saddled this band with a rather unfortunate moniker, but to fulfill her end of the bargain, she must have also thought it necessary to equip these guys chock full of nu metal rap sensibilities that would appear to most all discernable listeners these days to be played out. In any case, it must have worked because it got them a record deal and a chance to throw some modern rock into their Linkin Park meets Creed shtick.
I don’t think I was wrong to assume that this was going to completely suck. When learning of the banal pedigree involved in the music here, my initial reaction was to merely take a couple Sominex and wait for the next Warrant studio album which would almost certainly possess more promise than this. After a couple of days though, I finally mustered up the resolve to listen to the disc long enough to realize that there are truly some surprises here. The introductory track, Vanishing, is a typical rock rap Limp Biz adrenaline surge while the second tune, Headlights, possesses a great hook that unfortunately gets cluttered with typical Mudvayne type shouting and screaming. For example, if the lead singer of this band ever sings the National Anthem before your local minor league baseball game, it will almost certainly sound like this:
‘Oh say can you see,
BY THE DAWN’S EARLY LIGHT!!!
What so proudly we hailed,
AT THE TWILIGHT’S LAST GLEAMING!!!”
And so on. The travesty here is that Renz actually has a good voice, and when this group allows themselves to simply be a rock band which composes music without all the trendy wannabe trappings, they do manage to craft some songs that I definitely wouldn’t be averse to listening to more than once. That doesn’t mean that during the rap overrun of Peeled, when the lyrics asked “don’t ya feel sick?” that the answer wasn’t a definite ‘yes’. The only problem is that if I would have just tossed the disc aside at that point, I would have missed tracks five and six, which are just flat out cool to toss into a stereo. Masked and Rhea each possess momentum leading to their choruses which are both tight and memorable -- you know, kinda like screwing a virgin.
Undoubtedly, the band thinks it’s funny to make up different scenarios for how it got its name—none as good as mine though—pat on the back. I think the guitarist stated on their website that Gladyss Patches was the name of an Irish porn star. Hardy har har -- too bad I’m not here to judge their future in comedy. Nevertheless, this band’s new album is far better than it should be coming from a genre that has done nothing but produce a fusilade of audio related suffering for the better part of five or six years now. What it comes down to is that A Wish This Simple is just good enough that I could actually picture this group eventually making decent albums after they outgrow the adolescent posturing and faux angst of today’s popular metal trends. The construction of most of their songs are solid, and the modern rock touches that exist in some of the tunes do a credible job of accentuating the songs rather than dominating them like the rapping does. All of this combines to make an album whose eleven tracks suggest promise that although they may not be worth selling your soul for, may just be worth fifteen bucks in a year or two. For right now though, pick this up used if you get the chance -- ya know, use some of that money you spend on that smoking habit you acquired during high school and get the hell out of the men’s room already…! You shoulda outgrown that by now! Shit.