posted on 3/2010 By:
On its face, it would be easy to loathe a band like 19 A.D.D. to your very core. They describe their sound as “narcolepsy meets tourettes,” and unless they’re referring to the Third Eye Blind song and the Australian hardcore/nu-metal band, we have no clue what that exactly entails. Its members tag themselves as “Mile High Experi-Metal.” They’re from Denver, so applaud the wit. And they’re an extremely hard to describe frontperson-less trio. That’s right, no vocals. Yet it works.
Were 19 A.D.D. faking their weirdness it would be painfully obvious. After all, they have 15 songs to prove it here with Dead River. Fortunately for their run through the critical jungle, the album’s limbs and roots take curious and peculiar but strikingly organic shape. No sound is too weird nor predictable. An ever-present groove keeps the whole thing feeling very uniform, even as sharp synth threatens to cut through the mish-mash of relative guitar virtuosity like a coked-up raver tired of Red Bull and ecstasy. Obviously, one’s enjoyment here depends largely on exposure. If you’re new to instrumental metal with an experimental bent, and let’s face it, most are, not excluding myself, it’s going to take a cold shower and a swab of the old q-tip to prepare for such an affront to the senses.
The songwriting could use some tweaking and the choice to abandon the whole vocalist thing is a questionable one, but it’s hard not to admire the gall of 19 A.D.D. One listen to “Spoim” and its infectious, crushing riffs is proof of that. And as obvious as the talent here is, one gets the sense that the best is yet to come. Nonetheless, Dead River is an intriguing, refreshing and, most importantly, rewarding listen.
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