The latest from Disturbed is nothing less than a tour-de-force of epic proportions, an artistic redefinition that will go down in history as one of the greatest transformations in rock history.
In all seriousness--to paraphrase Roger Ebert's review of Sex and the City: I'm not the person to listen to on this one. Either you like Disturbed or you don't. There is, no doubt, an appeal that a certain kind of adolescent will latch onto. I was 16 when their first album came out and I remember enjoying it. I've since moved on, but I have fond memories of driving five over the speed limit, bobbing my head and chanting along to "Down with the Sickness." Like a bad horror movie, this is the kind of album that's completely critic-proof because the target demographic is young and searching only for visceral stimulation. That there are good and bad forms of visceral stimulation within film and music is up for debate--respectable and less respectable would be a more apt description. Where Indestructible falls in that spectrum is completely arbitrary.
It is worth noting that lead singer David Draiman is an outspoken opponent of the RIAA's ridiculous prosecution policy regarding filesharing. For that, I'll take Disturbed over Metallica any day. --Josh Kline
Just As Good
At Mount Zoomer
Three years, several side projects, and a lifetime's worth of hype later, Canadian rockers Wolf Parade return victorious with an impressively consistent follow-up to their much-lauded 2005 debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary.
This time out, co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner sound less like they're trying to impress their mentor (and reason for Wolf Parade's initial success) Isaac Brock, and more like they're further exploring the musical and thematic tangents they began on Apologies. Songs like "California Dreamer" and "Bang Your Drum" would fit right in on that first album, while "Fine Young Cannibals" quietly revels in an Of Montreal-esque dance groove that showcases a more restrained and disciplined band.
The buzz surrounding that first album was deafening, but the music was substantial enough to survive the accompanied scrutiny.
At Mount Zoomer plays like Apologies' mirror opposite; the hype has come and gone, but the band remains the same. Without the pre-release pressure, they need only to maintain consistency. And that's exactly what they do. --JK
Cody Clinton and The Bishops
The Tragic Truth
This long-in-the-making debut from one of Tulsa's more interesting (and opinionated) musicians is a straight-forward, Midwestern rock 'n' roll album that's helped tremendously by Clinton's unique, sometimes angry lyrical voice. With each song, it's clear that the Oolagah native feels an urgency to say something important. Although it can sometimes feel a bit forced, he's largely successful in conveying his unique perspective on everything from a failing healthcare system ("Supermodels and Methadone") to modern Christianity versus Jesus Christ Himself ("Pontius Pilate Blues").
These kind of topical issues are an artistic minefield for any young musician (very rarely does an artist of Clinton's caliber convert self-importance into classic protest), but Clinton succeeds mostly by keeping the material focused on his own life in relation to the world around him. Songs like "Ballad of misused Hearts", "Dark Red Rose" and "No Complaints" chronicle Clinton's own process of growth from troubled, drug-addled youth to sober, thoughtful young artist.
It's poignant, touching stuff--all the more so if you know Clinton--and whatever missteps there are on the album as a whole(Clinton's voice sometimes falters, and there's a schizophrenic mosaic of obvious influences present from song to song), it's a promising beginning for an artist who obviously has a lot more to say. --JK
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