Saturday, April 14, 2012

Steak Number Eight-All Is Chaos

Metal Hammer/2012

If I had early on decided that album opener "Dickhead" was the way this album would unfold there is no doubt whatsoever that I'd have missed out on something good. This juvenile track is full-on "Big Dumb Sex" (lyric wise) and seemly presents itself so far out of place one wonders why they opted to have it open the album. Lyrically these four young lads (average age now seems to be 20) are much more thoughtful and open as the album unfolds so having "suck my dick" lyrics tossed in your face first thing can be a bit offsetting to say the least. I'm not sure many people outside of the underground post-metal/sludge-rock scene would have heard this album if not for Metal Hammer. Seeing as Metal Hammer is giving this album away free in their most recent issue and has an article on them one would hope that more people check into this young Belgium act. Did I say Belgium? Yes I did and if your like me I'm sure you can't remember the last time you heard of a decent band coming from that country. This particular band started off the ground with the members still in their early teens (14!) and despite their charismatic looks they seem quite adapt now at laying down what is epic in the making sludge. For some unknown reason the mainstream media has chosen to call vocalist/guitarist Brent Vanneste the "next Kurt Cobain'. How they came up with that particular comparison one really has to wonder. Maybe Brent spills his heart in much the same way Kurt did. It is the same kind of raw pain that one can only express with experience. Musically the only reference point to bands like Soundgarden, Nirvana or even the Smashing Pumpkins would be in the rare moments that Steak Number Eight allows a sense of post-punk pop flavor to slip into the sludge mix. Even then it is so slight it ends up being a blink and you miss it moment. No doubt singer Brent Vanneste was inducted into the underground scene thanks to his mother's love of Esoterica and Sunn O))) and for that he should be thankful. Any parent that would play such cult music for their child would certainly help set the stage and benefit from a child that turns the tables around on mainstream rock. Infused with such early influences and having music built around anything and everything from the Queens of the Stone Age to Deftones to Mastodon and Isis makes for a formidable outfit and something much more than just plain sludge metal. There is potential in these post-rock/post-metal/sludge rockers that if properly harnessed could have significant impact on the musical landscape. My only question remains what happened to the first seven steaks guys?

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