|Grinspoon - 'Six To Midnight' (DR2 Records)|
|Written by Russ P|
|Sunday, 06 February 2011 05:00|
I've had a parental advisory warning from my Über Röck mam and dad: "Whatever you do, don't listen to track 1 first". Well, I'm an obedient child, I'll go along with their advice. Of course I'll eventually take a peek inside the 'forbidden box' but, for now, I'm game.
So I lift the metaphorical needle carefully over track one and set it down gently onto my new start of the album 'Run'. And what a good start it is. Maybe my Über Röck parents know a thing or two. Cause this track seems to be overflowing with everything I like about music. There's a little Queens Of The Stone Age floating around in there, a little Black Sabbath, a little Alice In Chains and a little Span. I'm digging it. They've got me on track one - even if it is technically track two!
'Comeback' sees the band genre striding - encompassing everything from Indie to middle of the road pop rock to stomping hard rock. 'Takes One' has a Billy Idol driving feel to it and has me reaching for the volume knob to crank it up a notch. The folky hook is a little left of centre. A little kooky reminding me of Super Furry Animals. But kooky is good, trust me here.
'Premonitions' is another stomper reminding me of Sponge. Its simplicity is refreshing. I can actually imagine the Scorpions playing this song. There's something here definitely reminding me of all the Schenker offshoots: MSG, UFO and the Scorpions. 'Give You More' is something of a departure. With the main influences sounding as if they come from the other side of the Atlantic - a mixture of Aerosmith, Temple of the Dog and Mother Love Bone. Overall it sounds like it was recorded at a different time to the rest of the album.
'Lockdown' returns the album to its default setting of crunching solid rock and 'Passenger' reminds me of a couple more bands that I like: King's X and Faith No More. And, as much as I like this, I've also turned the volume down somewhat. Due in no small part by the modern, and most would say irreversible, trend in mastering an album so hot that it puts blisters on your ear drums. They don't call it brick walling for nothing - I feel as if I've just driven my car into one. On the one hand it gives a heightened feeling of excitement while the other hand takes it away in so much that ears become chronically fatigued towards the end of such albums.
And 'Summer' can't come too soon for me. As this change in pace coincides with me putting some distance between myself and the speakers pumping out the sounds. Like the earlier change in pace - 'Give You More' - this song seems like too far a departure from the band's core sound for me. A bit too schizophrenic and sounding like the songs were recorded for a different album at a different time. You only have to compare it to what follows next - 'Champion' which has an intense Rage Against The Machine type anger to it. Chalk and cheese.
Despite the chronic hearing fatigue there is a lot to like about 'Six To Midnight'. I preferred the first half but the good songs and grinding riffs abide throughout. And, talking of the first half, surely it's time to finally go back to the beginning and play track 1?
Well I must confess I don't know what all the fuss was about. 'Dogs' isn't anywhere near the turn-off I was led to believe. Maybe the track order got mixed up in the post? I still prefer 'Run' as my own personal opener but 'Dogs' is a great track. It opens up like a heavier version of Cheap Trick and Alice Cooper and goes into a tricky jump-time riff with intense shouted vocals over the top. Maybe my Uber Rock mam and dad were trying to protect me from the shouted vocals. I'm sensitive. I don't like raised voices.