Release DetailsLABEL Xtreem Music
RELEASED ON 11/9/2003
One On Six
posted on 12/2003 By:
So France and Xtreem Music (formerly gore laden Repulse Records) make a late entry into the aggro/tech/core genre and attempt to go toe to toe with Stateside heavyweights like The Red Chord, Animosity and Between the Buried and Me. Result? US by a landslide, as Zubrowska, despite some decent energy and delivery simply rely too much on a formulaic sound, that is if you consider being as chaotic as possible formulaic.
Hampered by a flat production, Zubrowska wade into 10 (+2 instrumentals/interludes) songs of throbbing, spastic, frenzied ‘core that isn’t really bad, but never seems to throttle as it should. The discordant, poly rhythms stagger and lurch,, the dual vocals scream and growl, and the scattershot drumming is all over the place-all the ingredients that have made comparable releases some of my favorite of the year, but for some reason the sum of the parts don’t quite add up to the crushing result you’d expect. The band know how to play and have a grasp of the style that’s commendable, with some decent moments, but it seems a little too cookie cutter; it’s a rip-off of a rip-off of a rip-off. That’s third generation plagiarism folks.
I think the separating factor for bands like Between the Buried and Me and my new favorites The Number 12 Looks Like You (check ‘em kids), is they know when to break up the chaos with either some tempered harmonies or well placed dreamy interludes. On ‘One on Six’, there’s an intro and an outro, with little room for a breather between the continual caustic assault. I know it’s fickle to complain about too much noise, but more aware bands know when the listener may tire of the sensory overload delivered by the mountainously overwrought riffs and staccato overkill. A few more tempered tracks like "Smells Like Suicide”, and the huge lurch that opens “This Rose For You” would have been well placed.
I think the production takes something away from the songs too, as the technical aspects so critical to this style are lost in the mix. The only thing that stands out is the monstrous growl that backs the expected screech, this guy, Ben has a growl on par with any of the label’s former roster, but when I think the coolest part of an album is the secondary vocals-there has to be a problem with the songs. Zubrowska just seem a little to focused on their math metal structures, without stepping back and listening to the album as the big picture. The album sounds like 12 disjointed cuts with little or no flow, despite the obvious talent. They could take a lesson or two from country mates Comity. Also throw in some of the most contrived song titles that seem to sound deliberately cynical and overly clever (like their US brethren), and it makes for an album that has some promise but misses the big time.
Still though, in short bursts, these Frenchmen get an erstwhile ‘A’ for effort.
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