For those of you who hate nu-metal, hate teen angst, and hate bands with DJ’s, let me save you a few minutes of your time. Simply click the “back” button on your browser and pick another review. You won’t like Comadose. They’re opening for Vanilla Ice’s heavy metal band Bi-Polar later this month. If you think that’s a good thing, read on.
Comadose’s Re-Up could use a little polishing, but overall it should stand shoulder to shoulder with other albums of this genre. (Think 40 Below Summer or Primer 55.) The formula should be pretty familiar to you nu-metal fans by now. Loud drums, (heavy on the toms), palm muted guitars, plenty of rapping verses followed by screaming choruses, with a few DJ “wicky-wicky” sounds lightly sprinkled over the top. Stir, bake, cook until done, build a local following and sell on the web.
Not that there’s anything bad here, there’s just not much new either. The musicianship on the album is actually pretty good. The two guitarists (Worster/Ackroyd) split the stereo channels for some interesting guitar separation. Occasionally the two revert back to the Korn school of guitar playing (one plays rhythm, the other makes sound effects), but for the most part the duo offer up a two channel palm-mute attack which they pull off pretty well. Martin (bass) for the most part lines up behind the rhythm guitar, but occasionally takes the lead riff in a song or two. Jacob Brown on drums does a great job. The drums are loud and mixed right up front, with decent separation and nice tones. Roberge’s vocals are also perfect for this style of music; his raps are quick and crisp, his screams are loud and rough. The DJ scratching and samples (Cicchetti) don’t detract from the music too much. If you like that sort of thing, it’s there, and if you don’t, it’s not terribly distracting. The samples play nicely, but some of the scratching seems out of place. About the only bad thing I can say about the recording is that the mix is pretty bass heavy. I messed with my EQ for a few songs until I got rid of the muddyness. If they sell enough copies of this CD, I’m sure they’ll have it remastered. The highs are really crisp and distinct, but to hear them you’ll either have to crank up the treble or turn down the bass.
The band doesn’t break a lot of new ground lyrically either. “Buzzkill” is about “not being able to break them”, “Junkie” is about addiction, “Velcro” is about trying to part from a bad relationship, and “Slampig” is about “getting back in the pit”. While none of these songs are destined to be turned into novels anytime soon, I’m sure that’s what kids these days want to hear about. I used to think no one would be able to break me either, but then I got a haircut and started wearing a tie so I could get a job better than Pizza Hut. Junkies are junkies and bitches are bitches, so get over it. I’m too old to go in the pit anymore. Damn, I’m getting old. And cranky.
What’s wrong with Comadose? Nothing. In fact, it’s almost as if a nu-metal cookie cutter fell from Heaven and cut out the perfect “angry cookie”. There’s 0% learning curve here – fans of the genre will pop this CD in and leave it there for quite a while. It’s pretty familiar territory, but sometimes that’s a good thing.
With only 7 songs lasting a total of 28 minutes, the album feels more like a sampler than a full length effort. Comadose is doing everything right and chalks up some great experience with this album. Re-Up is good – and I’ll bet their next effort will be great. Definitely worth the $10 asking price from their website. Good stuff coming out of the northeast. They’re currently planning a Midwestern tour that begins early next year, so keep an eye out for them on the road.
04. Slam Pig
05. Numb Skull
07. Pain for Pleasure