Listen Up: Wednesday, December 14, 2005
files\2005-12-14\lup1(slavesystem)12-14.jpg
PHOTOS: 1
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Slave To The System

Slave To The System (Spitfire Records)

By Justin Press

The shadow of Alice In Chains must enshroud Seattle like a cloak — most burgeoning modern rock bands from the Great Northwest seem compelled to carbon-copy the ’90s-era legends’ mud-thick riffs and droning rhythms, in addition to the harrowing yet beautiful vocals of dual-frontmen Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell. You almost expect as much from youngsters, but not from an outfit made up of musicians from Queensr˙che and Brother Cane, two bands whose members know a little something about success and originality. On their self-titled debut full-length, however, the newly combined musos have difficulty capturing either one.

The chordal progressions that made Queensr˙che a presence in the art-metal world have now been dumbed down and transformed into straight-ahead acoustic-into-electric power ballads and mid-tempo stompers, as well as occasional nods to Guns N’ Roses, which is probably from the Brother Cane side of things, yon metalheads of the cowboy boots and fringe leather jackets. With tracks like “Cruze Out of Control,” “Ruby Wednesday,” and the tear-jerker/hold-lighter-aloft “Abyss,” Slave To The System gives you the impression that they’re slumming it. The album is not entirely without its merits — the groovy psychedelic flourishes on “Leaves” are more akin to mod-ish London than the rainy Northwest, and the band also plows the sound garden without getting caught.

The album closer “Walk the Line” nips at the heels of southern rock’s ability to take a simple slide riff, repeat it with (three) more guitars, and somehow create an anthem. Though not quite a free bird, the song is still a reminder that maybe all of the best ideas in rock ’n’ roll have been used, and there is nothing left to do but re-do.


Email this Article...

Back to Top


Copyright 2002 to 2017 FW Weekly.
3311 Hamilton Ave. Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 321-9700 - Fax: (817) 335-9575 - Email Contact
Archive System by PrimeSite Web Solutions