Von Benzo - 'Self Titled' (Orange Haze/Sound Pollution) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by David Whistance   
Monday, 09 November 2009 08:04

Von_BenzoIn April 1994 a bullet ended the life of grunge's biggest star Kurt Cobain, unfortunately with his life he also took everything that was original, inspired and exciting about that scene along with him. The gap Cobain left in the market was quickly filled by uninspiring, colourless post grunge wanabees such as Bush, Creed, Puddle Of Mudd and Staind.


A few years later we endured Canadian rockers Nickelback and know we can add Von Benzo to this portfolio.


If Von Benzo resided in the USA instead of their Swedish homeland then I believe with major record company backing they have the ability to sell copious amounts of this, their debut album, as each of the fifteen tracks on offer prove sure fire radio friendly anthems that wouldn't look out of place in any soulless stadium gig worldwide.


There are a few decent rock numbers namely, 'And The Dead Said No', kicking off with an infectious guitar intro before transforming into a sure fire rock classic, along with the tracks 'Poison' and 'Let Myself Go'.


Whilst these numbers race down the fast lane, getting your adrenaline pumping and your head shaking, there are far too many other tracks like 'Medicine', 'Move To Detroit' and 'Black Eyes On A Saturday Night' that veer uncontrollably towards the dreaded middle of the road.


Irony also appears to be lost on Von Benzo as displayed on 'MTV Killed Rock N Roll', a mid tempo affair condemning MTV's treatment of rock bands, whilst the song sounds exactly like the kind of characterless, bland offering that is actually on heavy rotation on MTV right now.  Nickelback's 'Rockstar' immediately springing to mind anybody?


Von Benzo veer out from middle lane territory into the fast lane once more for 'I'm On My Way' where they celebrate the joys of smoking their favourite illegal substance or in their own words weeeeeeed!  As their vocalist then hit notes more suited to helium voiced comedian Joe Pasquale, maybe that should be reason enough to stay away from the sweet leaf, but I'll leave that up to you to form your own opinion.


This really is an album of two halves that consists of some great rocking moments but unfortunately far too many dull, uninteresting, safe rock by numbers plodders. As stated previously fans of Creed, Puddle of Mudd, and Staind will probably adore the fifteen tracks on this self-titled album. My main grievance with the album is there are far too many numbers that play it way too safe.


My question to you though is does the world really need another Chad Kroeger?