Some Breaking News
label: iguana records
steve's score: 3.0 out of 5.0
a time when hardcore heavy metal bands had more mainstream exposure.
MTV had the show Headbanger's Ball after midnight on Saturday
nights back in the late 80s-early 90s. It was a forum for a whole
crop of bands with alarming names like Anthrax, Biohazard, Motorhead,
and Suicidal Tendencies.
died out though. Now, the hardcore scene is almost entirely underground.
Bands like Align from Minneapolis have to build cult followings
on a grassroots level through constant touring for five years.
Finally, they were signed on an independent record label out of
New York, Iguana Records. Some Breaking News is the band's
first full-length album, and it is worth hearing.
If you can
get past all the volume, distortion, dissonant chords, and the
occasional really odd syncopated rhythm, Align has more melodic
quality than most hardcore bands. It is easy to imagine that the
band could have gone in a pop direction if it had chosen to.
Jessen has a very good voice when he's not screaming his head
off, which he often does. Jessen has consciously avoided using
profanity in his lyrics, opting for more expressive words in the
English language. It's refreshing to hear someone take a more
intelligent approach, rather than just spewing out "F___
you!" every other line.
has a much less sinister tone than a band like Tool,
even though the two bands are similar-sounding instrumentally.
The songs are about relationships and spirituality. Songs like
"Bell Curve," "Basement Door," "Weigh
Me Down," and "Carrying" stand out in my mind,
although the whole album is solid.
of Align cite fellow hardcore bands like Helmet and Quicksand
as influences. Like those bands, they aren't bound to get much
attention from the mainstream because their sound is too abrasive.
That's a shame, because there is plenty of musical quality here.
A lot of the melodies are quite catchy.
If you like
bands like Helmet and Tool, definitely go seek out this album.
Even if you prefer something more radio-oriented, give it a listen
a few times. The album gets better every time you hear it after
you get orientated to the sound. You might be in for a pleasant
liked Some Breaking News...