Release DetailsLABEL N/A
RELEASED ON 6/27/2007
posted on 3/2008 By:
Okay, let’s make this quick for a change. Two things:
1. The joke around these parts is that normal people keep a stack of Playboys by their shitter and...I have a bunch of science magazines by mine. Therefore, people have this weird misconception that I’m a stuffy pretentious douche and therefore I listen to stuffy pretentious douche music. Well, they’re half right. I don’t just listen to pretentious douche music. I love the riff. There are few things better than a well-placed, well-timed, and well-executed riff. You know, the kind of riff that sends shivers, straightens your, uh, organs, and starts the furious air-guitaring. Admiral Browning brings some damn riffs. Not all the time, mind you, but there are, as my military friends say, some goodies on this one. Seriously. Alright, next…
2. The crazy thing about instrumental metal is…I don’t really like it. I know, I know, it’s a crazy thing to start off a review with, but it’s worth knowing where I stand on the issue and why I feel that Dead Pets is a minor success. Throughout the album, Admiral Browning proves that they can do what most instrumental bands can’t; write engaging riffs that don’t sound forced because they’re not trying to overcompensate for the lack of a strong lead voice. That and the album is refreshingly free of post-whatever horseshit. No overly-delayed jangly build-ups, no songs with 4,000 crescendos, and no sludged-out droning chugs. Instead, Dead Pets is pitched somewhere between good ol’ stoner rock and a rockin’ Electro Quarterstaff without the tech side, flying fingers, and the virtuosic flare for the metallic dramatic. Think two-ton ripping riffs and cleverly classic leads with a heaping helping of groove and you’re pretty much there.
Don’t believe me? Give “Golden Spiral” a listen. Like the name entails, it begins with a spacey, 35007-esque riff and then launches headlong into a lead-heavy driving section that would be worthy of a kitsch-free The Fucking Champs. Over the song’s eight-minutes, the band ably changes tempo and style, keeping the listener on their tippy-toes. What’s amazing is that the song structure flows together so well and never sounds convoluted, nor does the band waste time with over-repetition of their sections. It’s not quite a one-and-done type philosophy, but the riffs work well enough from the word go and don’t need to be forced into your skull over and over again for some supposed maximum riff satisfaction; a problem that befalls a lot of the genre’s most popular exports.
Still, there’s that all-familiar tendency to lose your place in the music as it floats into the background, as there’s no real anchor that holds your attention in areas besides some fun runs. But, while I alluded to their rather tech-free approach (In the sense that it‘s not masturbatory, not that it’s sloppy) there’s still some damn fine musicianship on display (And no hamfisted drumming! Pelican despisers rejoice!) including some great active bass lines. It might not always be memorable, but, when you’re giving it a deep listen, the attention to detail is refreshing. Very refreshing. Solid riffs have a tendency to be just that.
So, I must say, that along with a few others (5ive, Zebulon Pike, etc.), Admiral Browning is starting to figure this new wave of instrumental metal thing out. Here’s to those riffs and for them slowly reforming my opinion on one of metal’s currently en vogue genres. God, that was quick.
Register to post comments.