Pure Rock Patroller
Monday, February 18, 2002 @ 4:19 PM
A Roundup Of Unsigned And Indi
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According to their press kit, Alone Vocalist/Bassist Rinat, moved to Los Angeles from her homeland of Israel where she met guitarist Steve Ripley. After testing the West Coast waters, they relocated to Chicago where they hooked up with drummer Bryan West. Details are vague about why they moved but the results aren't. Alone has been cultivating a following that is spreading at a steady pace across the Midwest. Their 1,300 member (and growing!) national street team, a.k.a. "Street Dawgs,” have been busy garnering support. Their website at http://www.alonemusic.com, has received over 70,000 hits and they are currently moving up the charts on MP3.com. They have opened for national acts such as Fear Factory, Soil, Sw1tched, Buckcherry, Kittie, Mudvayne and a host of others.
By now I'm sure you're wondering what all the excitement is about? Well, let me give you some insight on what Alone brings to the masses. I received their 2-song demo several months ago but really wanted more songs to give an objective review. They recently added eight songs to MP3.com and were cool enough to send me another demo with five of these. Enough of my ranting, let's get on with the music....
First off, Alone aren't your typical "metal" band even though they employ some pretty heavy guitar chords. Rinat casts shades of Susanna Hoffs, the sexy sounding vocalist for the 1980's all girl band, the Bangles. This is evident on "No Match," the opening track and one of the most catchy tunes I've heard in awhile. She also manages to bark out angry screams that somehow co-exist well amidst the powerful hooks. Blending metal guitar chords, 80's New Wave style keyboards and Rinat's soothing vocals, Alone's mix provides a rather unique cocktail. Another stand out tune is "Smile," which really shows off her Hoffs-esque side as eerie keyboards poke through some straight-forward rock guitar strumming. "I Am," has more of a heavy rave trip ambience that would probably be best E-fueled. "Push Me," mixes metal guitars with whiney sounds fresh off a Cars album.
Overall, I really loved the ride Alone took me on. They have successfully genre hopped while simultaneously pulling 80's stylings into a volatile hard rock mix. They have taken the New Wave pop sensibilities of bands like the Bangles, the Cars and even U2, and melded them with newer metal, rock and rave offerings. I would be very surprised if Alone DIDN'T make it big. They have a solid foundation and a growing fanbase. All they need now is a record deal and a tour. Go to MP3.com and taste them yourself, I'm sure you won't be disappointed!
Alone is: Rinat (bass/vocals), Steve Ripley (guitars), Bryan West (drums)and
Bill Gardner (live guitars).
One word review...BRUTAL. Now everyone knows that I can't do a one-word review. I'm sure some of you think I should consider this on occasion but today isn't the day. Hatched in some underground labyrinth deep below New York, Antipathy has ascended to preach words of death and mental anguish. Samgar, bassist and vocalist, reminds me of some deranged misfit prophet leftover from the decade of decadence we call the 80's. He sports the long black mane, stache, goatee and that insane look in his eyes that is a prerequisite of this genre. I have never been much of a death metal fan and normally cookie monster vocals bore me. For some reason, Antipathy has captured my soul and won't let go. Maybe it's the raw power, or the sheer attitude, but I actually like these guys. Part Death, part Cannibal Corpse, maybe some Morbid Angel and Destruction, Antipathy have taken their place among the death metal brethren of the past and present. Songs titles such as "Imminent Peril," "Cryptic Bounds," "No Escape," "Bitter Alone," and "Who Am I / Someone Kill Me," set the stage for this disturbing opus. If this is your cup of tea, by all means drink heartily. If not, stay away. Better yet, RUN! One final warning: DO NOT listen to this alone in the dark, it may be hazardous to your health!
Antipathy are: Samgar (bass/vocals), Alex Ghersini (drums), Danny Wahlberg (rhythm/lead guitar), Luke Caliente (rhythm/lead guitar).
I first heard a Bonescrew MP3 at the Road Runner Records website. I was immediately drawn to their dark sound, described in their bio as "industrial metal, gothic atmospheres and hardcore riffing." Seeing as how I embrace all metal genres, I knew this would be a cool demo.
Formed in late 2000 in Boston, Bonescrew has been making a name for themselves along the Eastern seaboard. Lately, Massachusetts has produced some excellent bands and Bonescrew is no exception. Leading off this three song demo is "Ask For Nothing." Right away I get to experience the gothic and hardcore comparisons. Vocalist/guitarist Steven Flynn, sounds like a cross between Dave Wyndorf from Monster Magnet, Aaron Stainthorpe from European goth masters, My Dying Bride, maybe even Cathedral. The guitars are very dirge like and are also comparable to My Dying Bride. "I'll Get Mine," follows suit as does "New World Orbit." "NWO," however, offers a steady keyboard flowing in the background as well an occasional monk-like chant blended with an air raid siren. This creates an eerie setting indeed. Bonescrew is currently at work on their debut full length and are still unsigned. For any of you vampires that like your goth a little heavier, these guys are sure to meet your exotic needs. Fans of My Dying Bride, Monster Magnet, Type O Negative, Cathedral, Candlemass or Trouble, will most likely appreciate what Bonescrew has to offer. Bonescrew is: Steven Flynn (guitars/vocals), Dan Kelly (bass), Max(percussion) and Keith Starkweather (keyboards).
Bolton, MA...yes Bolton, not Boston, has produced one of today's premier hard rock acts in a band called Medium. Although the group is new, they are no strangers to the scene. Drummer Derek Kerswill played in Long Distance Runner and toured with Shadow's Fall who opened for Slayer and Pantera. Guitarist Pete Cortese was once in Overcast. Now Medium is set to take over the world. I was very impressed with their debut album, "Terra Firma." Here is what I found:
There are five tracks on this demo and leading off is "Fret." Right out of the gate these guys proved they could smoke! Thick stoner rock guitars trudged along as vocalist Dean Ross' sounded so much like Tool's Maynard James Keenan, it frightened me! Image if Maynard sang stoner rock, what a concept. "Smokestack" was next and Ross changed his delivery drastically. To say I can't compare it to anyone else is probably a good thing but it was cool to say the least. It had a bluesy megaphone feel to it and felt good running with the heavy riffs. The title track, "Terra Firma," didn't disappoint with its chunky fretwork and Ross singing yet again in a different direction. He sounded kinda like Don Dokken but don't hold me to that. You have got to hear this thing for yourself to believe it. This is some quality toe tapping headbanging grab your Graffix shit! Other songs are "Medulla Ob-lon-ga-ta" and "Icarus," which is a defining moment in stoner-a-bility as it takes the listener on a ride through a trippy mellow 60's soundscape. Woven strategically between this are some killer riffs, haunting echolike vocals, and terrific drum beats that make use of triangles and cymbals unlike anything I've heard in this millennium.
Wow! I guess I'm getting way too excited over this but what can I say. This is some very cool stuff. They have many influences that are evident such as Tool, Kyuss, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Queens of the Stone Age...they even sound somewhat like Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden. Yes, I do own that album, but it did rock. This CD is a must for anyone that digs stoner rock or likes their metal on the low end side. Peace.
Medium is: Dean Ross (vocals), Kevin Schule (bass), Pete Cortese (guitar) and Derek Kerswill (drums).
Motive rose out of the ashes of Phoenix, AZ in June 1999. Their debut album, Damned if You Do, Dead if You Don't, has sold over 1000 copies. They have played over 100 shows in 11 states opening for national metal acts such as Testament, Suicidal Tendencies, Deicide, Machine Head and Flotsam & Jetsam's 2001 Fall Tour.
I was turned onto them by bassist Tom Collins, who is the vocalist for fellow Arizona metal brothers, Blind Rage, another band I recently reviewed. Motive provide classic old school ‘80s "in your face metal." Hearkening back to the days when thrash saturated the market, Motive opens up a glimpse of better days. After listening to this 4-song demo, I was ready to go out and kick some redneck's ass! The opener entitled "Lochness," blasted me with machinegun drums and searing guitars. "Genetic Cleansing" was also very cool with its darker Sabbath like chords. Motive is comparable to 80's metal acts such as Hallows Eve, Flotsam & Jetsam...the list goes on and on. There isn't anything new here but they have mastered a lost art. I for one, still like listening to this type of metal, so needless to say, Motive gets plenty of airtime from me.
Motive is Adam Brooks (vocals), Steve Buschart (guitar/vocals), Tom Collins (bass) and Rick Vinoya (drums).