Precious few bands of real note have emerged from the Dundalk area over the years.
Perhaps, half way betweem Belfast and Dublin, the acts fall between two stools gig wise. Perhaps it’s because… well, it’s Dundalk.
So it’s really gratifying to hear a band of real substance issue from that benighted land.
Words That Burn pick up where acts like Mudvayne, Mushroomhead and more obviously American Head Charge left off, but without the pang and pop of those awful basslines that characterised so many of nu-metal’s bands.
So it’s detuned riff rock with some considerable growl in the guitars and some nicely placed melody in the choruses, which each song tends to build to in a very natural way.
As far as that goes, we have two stand out tracks in here, that had this been a two song demo would certainly excite the ears of a label listening – but alas, bands are wont to spume so much out these days.
Those two tracks are superb. ‘CTRL-X’ is the first, with it’s upward vocal drag recalling Billy Corgan’s more abrasive and distorted vocal moments.
A few tracks later, ‘Dig’ certainly has that meld of Soil, Drowning Pool and a little Alice In Chains down to a tee. All rooted of course in the kind of guitar that I’d hesitate to call sludgey in any way except a sonic description. Not the genre, obviously.
The Alice In Chains nods return pleasantly in ‘Sictember’.
I’ve been listening to this for some time, and I reckon these lads have something very good going on. In all innocence, their recollection of grunge with a heavier sound that stops mercifully short of the worst excesses of nu-metal while hanging on to the good bits (and what were they, I hear so many of you ask?) is a bit of a winner.
Where they’re let down is the production. It sounds very dated and cheap by today’s almost mind bending standards, and frankly this sounds more what you would have expected as par for the course a decade ago – the vocals are too close-mic’d and dont sound sufficiently distanced to be ‘pro’, while the guitars can be a bit chalky.
Yet good music overcomes poor production. And though some of this is rather samey, it’s two best tracks are sure standouts from which the band can develop. With tracks like them, they stand to even develop – whisper it – a fanbase.
So good luck to them, and let’s hope they want to put the work in. If they do, interesting things will happen.
– Earl Grey ::: 14/08/13