posted on 3/2009 By:
Never having been a fan of the spastic rock metal makes it hard for me to consider Millions a good band in their respective genre. Perhaps that is because I have only come across a handful of records that collide metallic sensibilities with abrasive techniques effectively without wanting to pull myself up from my bootstraps and leave my stereo playing to dead air. Lines rarely seem to be drawn, passages offering progression u-turn with little correlation, and for as much imagination as there may have been creating the record, listeners like myself don’t have the time to dissemble something for cathartic, meaningful satiation. But then, that’s the point with a lot of hard-headed spaz-core.
Calling Millions spastic may be an overstatement, since they may stick to a particular riff for an extended period of time, but that doesn’t mean it’s nourishing in any way. Millions must have had a lot of ideas going through their heads in preparation for Gather Scatter, including but not limited to stoner rock, gang vocals, punk, Southern rock, and hardcore. Heaving oneself from one particular sound to another requires a lot of talent and practice; Millions do it lacking an ultimatum, allowing songs to meander to and fro without purpose. Gather Scatter plays like a catalog of clichéd ‘core and sludge, the likes of which pierces skulls just for the sake of piercing and not much else.
Pick any of the songs from the album, and you’re bound to get a heaping helping of dissonance. I’m not against dissonance by any stretch – but there’s a point to which one has to weigh its importance rather than mistake it for songwriting proper. Sure, some of these riffs are nod-worthy (“View from a Sinking Ship” at the 15 second mark), but it almost seems like they’re grasping for something great but giving up, limiting the amount of progression any given song on the record can have. It’s mildly infuriating considering the production is actually really well done, capturing each of the instruments vibrantly. If only the songs were as vibrant as the mix would make one believe.
In retrospect, I’m not sure what would make my Millions listening experience better. It might be not listening at all. If you like anything that has the prefix “post-“ in its name, chances are you’d be willing to put Millions up to bat for your ears. Still, this is safe music; a few too many steps away from the edge, if you will. No big deal, though; it’s not like Seventh Rule is going to knock Millions off their roster when one of the members is Seventh Rule. There’s a lesson in that: can’t get a label to sign you? Make your own and sign yourself. Because that works. Rarely.
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