Denmark’s latest export is Raunchy, literally. The five-piece outfit cite “Fear Factory, Strapping Young Lad, Machine Head, Deftones, and Korn,” as their influences. Wow, I remember when all of THOSE bands were new bands, and I was reading THEIR lists of influences. Fuck I’m old. Anyway, back to the album. Before even reading anything about the band, when I listened to this CD I heard similarities to Fear Factory and Machine Head. Korn, no. Deftones, not really. Strapping Young Lad, no idea. Morten Toft Hansen’s skin pounding and kick drums combined with the tight and tuned-down strumming of Lars Christensen contribute to the Fear Factory-esque sound, and the fact that Lars Vognstrup sounds exactly like Burton C. Bell during most of the opening tracks doesn’t help separate the two. Combine that with Jesper Tilsted’s keyboards paired up with Jesper Kvist’s bass, and it wouldn’t surprise me if these guys used to be in a Fear Factory tribute band. Track one wasn’t even over, and I was done with these guys.
But, ho-ho! Just when I had written these guys off as a clone of “that other band”, they turn around and do something different. Track 3, “Active”, sounds like later Machine Head, almost mainstream metal. The drums sound like a straight forward rock song during much of the track, the guitars aren’t palm-muted, and Vognstrup takes the opportunity to actually do some singing! While proving that these guys are more than a one-trick pony, I get the feeling that these songs were written over a great span of time — although, what they lack in cohesiveness, they make up for in the rock department.
The rest of the album falls somewhere between these two goalposts, with a few blast beats and industrial sounds wandering off the already beaten, nu metal path. I found myself listening to it, but feeling guilty about it later. The songs are catchy but not deep. The music is good, but not outstanding. These guys are the gravy, not the potatoes. They’re no fork, they’re a spork. They’re no Rudolph, they’re … Comet. Not bad but not remarkable, Raunchy is leading the wave in bands waiting in line, ready to grab Fear Factory’s crown.
01. Twelve Feet Tall
06. My Game
07. Crack of Dawn
08. Out of Sight
09. This is Not an Exit
10. Never Be