Plead The Fifth
posted on 6/2010 By:
I want to make this perfectly clear. A lot of thought, discussion and arguing went into whether to cover this album. But after some severe persistence from Victory’s PR dept, numerous votes, bribes, sexual favors and an ultimate decision from this site’s owner, the review was green lighted. And like the guy that will take home the fat chick of group, I’ll be jumping on the hand grenade for this.
Listen, I’m secure in my metalness to admit I was down with the whole nu metal / WWE-core / trailer-metal stuff back in the late 90s early 00s. I owned CDs by Korn, Limp Bizkit. Staind and others. And to be truthful, I thought a couple of the bands like Bloodsimple, Project 86, Mudvayne, Deftones, Element Eighty and Taproot were pretty decent. Heck, Taproot’s hit single “Poem” was in fairly regular rotation in my car stereo for a while. But that was my last exposure to the band, and I have not heard them until this, their 5th studio album, their first after a rather strange no-label release in 2008's Our Long Road Home.
Hey, I’m not going to sugar-coat this, but neither am I going to lambast it for its genre just for cheap thrills. This is Taproot; they are a commercial version of nu metal that’s the soundtrack for UFC commercials. It’s part Staind, part Korn and part all of the Nu metal bands of the genre’s explosion. There’s chunky, acceptable metal riffs (“Trophy Wifi”, “Left Behind”), some screams, some shouts, loads of radio-friendly choruses and a whole lot of angst. None of it moved me, but none of it really offended me either. It’s the sort of gateway metal that’s between Nickelback and Killswitch Engage. It’s a loud but pleasant, foot-tapping listen that’s an acceptable change-up when my family is in the car and I don’t have to explain what ‘Goatfuckingnunslaughtercuntfuck” means to my daughter when one of my death metal CDs is playing. Stephen Richards actually has a decent voice, and his clean tone is rather amicable (except when he does the half-shout thing).
None of the songs are going to blow up like “Poem” did, but the likes of “Fractured” (the album’s first single), “Release Me”, “Stolage” and “Left Behind” will give Victory plenty of radio play and, with the band's songs currently being used for TNA wrestling commercials, some publicity and exposure. Who knows, maybe the new Pathology record will be used for an iCarly commercial on Nickelodeon?
That all being said, it's also the kind of sugary mainstream pseudo-metal record I don’t want to be seen dead with in public and the kind of record I hope to never have to listen to again other than for review purposes, especially the likes “No View is True” and “Stares”. I just hope the PR department folks at Victory Records are cute because they owe me, big time.
BANG!!!!!!!!!!! (That’s the grenade going off as the lashes begin.)
Now where’s my Defeated Sanity CD???????
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