Volume 93, Issue 101
Friday, April 7, 2000
|ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Step Kings step to risky beat
The Step Kings
Let's Get It On!
Every once in awhile, a band comes along with an original sound and a willingness to take risks The Step Kings are one such band.
After extensive touring, they have released Let's Get It On!, an album maintaining their reputation for being an unapologetically loud, thrashing bunch.
The album launches with heavy-hitting guitars and repeated shouts. From that point on, it's a steady stream of pumping music. Other notable tracks include "Recognition," "Friends" and "Move On."
The band also deserves considerable kudos for their experimentation, demonstrated in their cover of the Pink Floyd anthem "Another Brick in the Wall," which combines the original tone of the song with the Kings' own interpretations.
Despite the solid sound and lyrics, heavy albums like this one seem to lose their tenacity after a couple of listens. But although Let's Get It On! becomes bland in its boldness, it still holds its own until the final song.
With bands constantly changing their sound, one thing is for sure the West Coast's Another Joe are not out to sacrifice their punk rock legacy by pushing their musical limits somewhere they don't belong.
Joe's current release, Plasti-Scene, sustains common elements from past efforts, featuring song after song of intense melodic punk rock.
Lyrically, the band demonstrates potential weakness with most songs encompassing your typical, disgruntled youth-crying-for-direction-in-a-dwindling-world.
One song showing creativity is a track entitled "You, Yourself and I," a catchy, fast-paced tune. Other surprises include the tracks "D.S.S." and "Strip Search," the former best described as a quick kick to the groin leaving you shocked but pleasantly surprised.
A major drawback to the album is its repetitive nature and lack of creativity. Each song sounds just like the last the theme of childish cynicism remains as constant as the wart on my dog's ass.
On the brighter side, there are only 10 songs, so this album is over quickly and without too much pain.
Everything from the lyrics to the overuse of power chords makes this an album worth passing on. Unless it's found in the used section of your favourite local record store, avoid this one.
The self-titled debut from Toronto band Rubber could have found a much more appropriate name in one of their own tracks, as "Headache" seems much more representative of this album.
Rubber is a self-produced pop/rock compilation with little hope of projecting the group to fame largely because of fast-paced blurs like "Who-Buddy" and "Face It," which fail in their production. Rubber might have found an audience had they asked for some production assistance and saved their own ideas for a more mature release.
The venture has some commendable features, such as the slightly admirable "Coming Down." Although the group attempts to branch out from the usual straight rock by tapping country-style sounds, the song still provides no real break from the album's tedious mould.
What is most frustrating about Rubber is the difficulty in describing the exact factors which make the album an intolerable experience. With their small modicum of talent and major label backing from Warner Music Canada, the band could have released a better debut.
Instead, listeners will receive a disappointing and ill-promoted project.
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