There’s been a lot of hype about this band, so I was curious to review this CD. With a name as silly and pretentious as “Scream Toward The Uprising Of Non-Conformity”, I wasn’t sure what to expect.
Unfortunately, though, right from the first song on the album, “Movement”, the sound was surprisingly unoriginal, which is depressing. You’d hope that with all of the shitty music around, only a good band would get hype. Though, when that hype involves Rolling Stone and MTV saying you’re one of the “Top 10 New Bands To Watch”, who knows what that means. Those two corporate, major-label whores would say anything to sell. This band is, more accurately, one of the “Top 10 New Bands To Watch”, and despise. Though, I’ve found that a healthier way to deal with music like this is just to ignore it.
In their press pack they reference bands like The Clash and Pixies as influences, who they have nothing at all in common with. In actuality the only context this band will ever deserve to be included in is with the likes of Linkin Park, or other shitty alterna-rock crap.
Their sound is very much influenced by Rage Against The Machine, though without the rage, flair, or emotion. Their songs have choruses like “All my brothers and sisters” (track 2, “Movement”) which gets repeated over and over and over. Or in track 3, “Annihilation Of The Generations”, “Desperation” gets repeated again and again, only to be followed with “There goes a generation” which itself gets repeated. If any generation should be annihilated it’s white-boy pretty-boys who spend an hour and half to get their “look” right, so they can get ready to pose for their daily photo shoots.
For a band who supposedly “takes the lyrical integrity of The Clash” as the press pack suggests, they don’t say much. Their songs are mostly just some shitty chorus getting repeated over and over, with a verse here and there. The lyrics are terrible, cliched, and trite. The songs only deal with generalities, most of which have been sung about already, by much better bands. They attack nothing specific, which one could think about. In general, I’d rather not hear social commentary from a rock band, but if you are going to attempt it, please be smart.
Musically, they’re just bland. They can all play their instruments, and the song construction is logical, they’re just boring. They just regurgitate what have now become alterna-rock tropes. Such as singing in a tough, rap-metal voice one second, and then in a high-pitched, nasal, whiny voice the next. The best part of the record is the guitar noises, but even that is almost disappointing. Things that bands like Sonic Youth or Fugazi were doing, which were new and exciting and interesting at the time, have now just been aborbed into the mainstream world, and are done for credibility.
Sonically, this was an upsetting waste of a major label budget. The record sounds really good, and the mixes are all good. It’s just sad that bands like this are getting the money to record in such a giving environment. While independent bands are still making gems under MacGyver like situations, bands like this are turning their shitty songs into radio-friendly pop songs.
It’s really disgusting how model types are being marketed as underground rockers, because that’s what’s selling. It cheapens the integrity of real underground musicians, and makes everyone bitter and jaded. The saddest thing about this record is how many copies it will probably sell.
The best song on this album is track 11, the 30 second “Illegal Operations”. It is a good length, maintains a good level of energy, and isn’t long enough for it to turn into another crappy S.T.U.N. song.
The album closes with a 5 minute self-indulgent rock ballad, which is at least a change of pace and adds another dynamic to this flat-line of bullshit.
Matt Peterson is a Contributing Writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.