Pumpehuset, Copenhagen, DEN - 13/3
Written by: AP on 19/03/2007 17:51:10
In times when metalcore has become a cliché, bands that want to make it need to have more than one ace up their sleeve. The message that fans and critics transmit is definite: be original, or be gone. Unfortunately, originality is a monopolistic quality, and where unearthly drum patterns, out-of-tune riffs and unusual song structures might have worked for Converge, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Ephel Duath and the like, it is, just as metalcore, becoming overused.
Car Bomb's "Centralia" fits into post-Dillinger era wave of hybrids that attempt to draw elements from as many genres as possible and define originality thus. This is an edgy method of album making in that its success wobbles on a thread; it's either perfect or a waste of time. "Centralia" is certainly not perfect. Where Car Bomb's technical skill and progressive tendencies are undeniable, their greatest mistake was to follow The Dillinger Escape Plan in awe. It's no secret that the aforementioned is Car Bomb's idol; the band shamelessly recycles what makes Dillinger so respected in the math rock genre in order to also recycle the success Dillinger has earned.
On the other hand, Car Bomb never claimed to be original, but good at what they do. Granted, the band's musicianship deserves credit, but the album's execution is about as poor as a third world country. It explores so many paths, experiments with so many approaches, and combines so many styles that the end result is a soup of nothing saying industrial noise. "Centralia" is cold and disorienting, almost schizophrenic at times thanks to an eerie growl-whisper-growl alteration and complete lack of anything melodic.
"Centralia" is a difficult album to listen to – too difficult – from a band that tried too hard. However, it does declare the band's intentions. What needs to happen now is for Car Bomb to take their talent and creativity and put into the next album what "Centralia" lacks; hooks. That, and the band needs to settle down with the ultra-mechanical chaos and write songs that make sense but are still original. It's the little things that matter.
For the fans of: The Dillinger Escape Plan, Ephel Duath, Converge
Release date 12.02.2007
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