Top positive review
3 people found this helpful
A brilliant album blending rock with texture-heavy electronica.
on 21 February 2014
I expect that most people who stumble upon this album already know who Chino Moreno is, therefore I will avoid writing at length about the Deftones singer or the way that this side project is another example of the depth of his ability. Instead, I would just like to point out that this is a fantastic album, brimming with quality and resonating on a level that is both dark and melancholic as well as energetic and lively. The tone of the album is clearly morose (as you can tell from the artwork), but the production and the lyrics meander between gloomy and jubilant with a necessary ease. The result? 15 songs with a huge range of sounds including some of the most catchy vocals of Chino's career and plenty of quality for people with both rock and electronic biases.
Some fans might have been disappointed to find that 10 of the 15 tracks were ones that had already been released on the band's first 2 EPs. However, I was excited to see the result of throwing all of these tracks, as well as a few new ones, onto a single album. The result is a full-length debut to be proud of, with high points from both the band's back catalogue (Telepathy, Frontiers, Prurient) and a few new favourites (Bitches Brew, The Epilogue, Blk Station). Chino's lyrics sound clearer and better tuned than ever, accompanying a selection of expertly produced tracks that range from ambient trip-hop to upbeat dance music. 'Telepathy', for me, is a massive highlight; an upbeat dance track with a dark pulse and catchy lyrics. 'Prurient' is another highlight, soft and delicate, yet with a strong energy during the chorus. 'The Epilogue' and 'Blk Station' are two of the more poppy and upbeat rock tracks, both excellent while tracks like 'Trophy' offer mellow respite amidst the rest. My overall favourite track is still 'Frontiers' and my one criticism of the album is that this really should have been the opening track! It builds gently and echoes around in the low keys for the start and the first verse before exploding into life and delivering a powerful chorus, complimented perfectly by lyric and sound.
15 is a lot of tracks and there are a few that I was not so keen on, but this is not enough to dissuade me of my high opinion for this album. 'This Is a Trick' and 'Death Bell' are two such track, unfortunately marking the start and the end of the CD; fortunately the majority of the songs making up the bulk of the album are truly excellent. In conclusion, I expect that I will be looking back on this album in 11 months time as one of the best of 2014 and, yes, one of Chino's best so far too. It is a big improvement from the Team Sleep project and a lot more accessible and enjoyable than the Palms LP. If anyone wants to preview before they buy, I recommend going onto Youtube and listening to 'The Epilogue', 'Frontiers' and 'Telepathy'. Enjoy!