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She Wants Revenge, Otep, Underworld

Underworld  - Oblivion with Bells  - ATO  - Sounds like: More underwater than underworld - Short take: Electro bellwethers unaffected by the present - With underwater vocals and hypnotic layers of synth, long-running deep-house outfit Underworld sounds like a Halloween version of New Wave, but deeper, dubbier, bigger and longer. In a world that generally ignores electronic music unless it attaches itself to another genre, Oblivion's songs still bang. The opening tracks, "Crocodile" and "Beautiful Burnout"  both with relentless bass lines, spacey keys, bleeding woofers and computerized vocals  are the kind of songs that jumpstarted the rave scene before disavowing it. This is the kind of music that's still captivating without any damnable tags. Underworld makes some of the best use of voice as instrument, tweaking it until it's another impetus, part of a driving sonic text to be read in whole.  Matt Martin
  • Underworld

    Oblivion with Bells

    ATO

    Sounds like: More underwater than underworld

    Short take: Electro bellwethers unaffected by the present

    With underwater vocals and hypnotic layers of synth, long-running deep-house outfit Underworld sounds like a Halloween version of New Wave, but deeper, dubbier, bigger and longer. In a world that generally ignores electronic music unless it attaches itself to another genre, Oblivion's songs still bang. The opening tracks, "Crocodile" and "Beautiful Burnout" both with relentless bass lines, spacey keys, bleeding woofers and computerized vocals are the kind of songs that jumpstarted the rave scene before disavowing it. This is the kind of music that's still captivating without any damnable tags. Underworld makes some of the best use of voice as instrument, tweaking it until it's another impetus, part of a driving sonic text to be read in whole. Matt Martin

Otep   - The Ascension  - Capitol   - Sounds like: Ozzfest 2002 redux - Short take: Otep drops ball with Ascension - Metal acts have two choices when approaching their career: Either suck it up and play the rock-radio game of softening music to cater to the mainstream, or remain fiercely independent and content with a cult following that relishes your heavy, destructive and stagnant style. Apparently alternative metal act Otep refuses to drink the Kool-Aid on its third studio effort, The Ascension, which features more of the same aggro vocals ("Eat the Children") over unrelenting guitars ("Perfectly Flawed") as its House of Secrets. While, from an artistic sense, the notion of Otep Shamaya and Co. sticking to their guns is admirable, what good is such obstinacy when it actually keeps the band from exploring talent that seemed to promise Ozzfest main-stage status just a few years ago?  John Benson
  • Otep

    The Ascension

    Capitol

    Sounds like: Ozzfest 2002 redux

    Short take: Otep drops ball with Ascension

    Metal acts have two choices when approaching their career: Either suck it up and play the rock-radio game of softening music to cater to the mainstream, or remain fiercely independent and content with a cult following that relishes your heavy, destructive and stagnant style. Apparently alternative metal act Otep refuses to drink the Kool-Aid on its third studio effort, The Ascension, which features more of the same aggro vocals ("Eat the Children") over unrelenting guitars ("Perfectly Flawed") as its House of Secrets. While, from an artistic sense, the notion of Otep Shamaya and Co. sticking to their guns is admirable, what good is such obstinacy when it actually keeps the band from exploring talent that seemed to promise Ozzfest main-stage status just a few years ago? John Benson

She Wants Revenge  - This Is Forever  - Geffen  - Sounds like: Dumbed-down Depeche Mode - Short take: We Want Another Lyricist - On She Wants Revenge's eponymous debut, vocalist Justin Warfield sounded like an ingenuous small-town kid on his first trip to L.A., reveling in the skin and sin and sex. The goth-pop duo's sophomore effort, This Is Forever, sounds like the result of Warfield's inevitable betrayals by any number of hot young things. And on the disc, he pouts, of course, over their phoniness and willingness to discard him so easily. Heroically, DJ Adam Bravin keeps the music from following the same cumbersome dead-ends as Warfield's lyrics. All the catchy synth and whopping bass lines are lost, though, to Warfield's idiotic Trapper Keeper poetry. His trick of using narrative scenarios of nightlife might have worked for two songs, but not two albums of songs. Literally, Bravin: Find any other lyricist.   Matt Martin
  • She Wants Revenge

    This Is Forever

    Geffen

    Sounds like: Dumbed-down Depeche Mode

    Short take: We Want Another Lyricist

    On She Wants Revenge's eponymous debut, vocalist Justin Warfield sounded like an ingenuous small-town kid on his first trip to L.A., reveling in the skin and sin and sex. The goth-pop duo's sophomore effort, This Is Forever, sounds like the result of Warfield's inevitable betrayals by any number of hot young things. And on the disc, he pouts, of course, over their phoniness and willingness to discard him so easily. Heroically, DJ Adam Bravin keeps the music from following the same cumbersome dead-ends as Warfield's lyrics. All the catchy synth and whopping bass lines are lost, though, to Warfield's idiotic Trapper Keeper poetry. His trick of using narrative scenarios of nightlife might have worked for two songs, but not two albums of songs. Literally, Bravin: Find any other lyricist. Matt Martin

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