Before writing this review of Downsiid's third album Life of Lies, I did a Google search for other opinions, as I sometimes do, and found no other comments on this album. I was taken somewhat by surprise. This, surely, cannot be.
One, this album has been out for better than a year. (I don't normally review stuff this old.) Two, Downsiid got the modern rock/metal look from tats to properly styled hair, from conventional band logo to their own clothing (Ghetto Rock Clothing). Next, they'll have their own energy drink and MMA endorsement, maybe even a Jagermeister plug. (It's coming believe me.)
But more than that Downsiid has the commercial modern hard rock sound for which the mainstream cookie-cutter labels drool: catchy like Nickelback, but raw enough to be lightly hardcore. (Did you get that contrast?) You can tap your toes while simultaneously thrashing your dreadlocks and snapping your neck. It's all good.
They also offer a slight inclusion of the 'nu' by adding some hip-hop and rap vibe. One member of the band is DJ Akira MC on keyboards, samples, and turntables (ugh! the turntable is not an instrument). Another reason I wouldn't normally consider this band. Yet they also offer tons of melody and friendly hooks, and Jeff 'Spanish' Scott can rip it up on guitar and Jason 'String' Atwood is a true vocal presence. While they sound much like everything else 'modern' out there, they also have a boatload of talent and, well, sound really, really good. Having notable producer Roy Z (Judas Priest, Halford, Sebastian Back, et al) behind the knobs doesn't hurt either.
There's some nice modern melodic hard rock here with Not With Me, We Can Get Out, and My Space Police, and that slight rap flux on Bullet Hits the Skin. Placebo is smooth and friendly, ready for airplay. Part of You, a song from the point of view an unborn baby speaking to his mother's drug, is both emotional and daring. Though they take no stand on the abortion issue, it's a gutsy and passionate perspective. Pole Dancer offers that bit of hip-hop flair, yet thanks to the soulful delivery, these nonfan ears found it quite palpable. Downsiid also has the stones to cover the iconic Prince song, When Doves Cry, giving it a harder edge, and bumping up the guitar solo to a more rock/metal feel. It's pretty good. And, overall, the material on Life of Lies is solid and entertaining stuff.
While typical of current trends, and possibly unrecognizable from their peers, Downsiid's Life of Lies works from a foundation of melodic hard rock for their modern sound. This makes it intriguing and entertaining enough to get my attention. Recommended.
While typical of current trends, and likely undefinable from their peers, Downsiid's Life of Lies works from a foundation of classic melodic hard rock for their modern sound. This makes it intriguing and entertaining enough to get my attention.
Mat Sinner is both an icon and legend in the German, and the larger European, hard rock and heavy metal scene. Cranking out music since 1982, Sinner is an industrious and prolific musician and producer whether through his namesake band, the heavy metal heroes Primal ... [ Read More ]