I think we were all blown away when this San Francisco band’s Sunbather album came out earlier this decade: it was death metal but it was so textural and cloaked in this psychedelic tinge that its stylistic rudiments almost seemed to dissipate in favor of its throat-grabbing knack for soundtracking all of our lives.
Well, on Ordinary Corrupt Human Love, one obvious observation that can be made is that they haven’t “gone pop” in a traditional sense, seeing as the average song length bumbles in at about eight and a half minutes. “You without End” begins much softer than Sunbather, which will harvest the idea that the band has got introspective, that they’ve achieved a certain inner peace.
The problem is that, or, the “problems” are that, to be more specific, the governing piano riff which opens the album plays as laughably banal warmed-over Coldplay detritus, and the guitar riffs sound like they just had Roger Waters come in and doodle on some “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” blueprints (which is already an overrated song in terms of the guitar instrument itself). Like The Flaming Lips, this is “prog rock” with the self-serving agenda of through fantastical worlds and song lengths emitting an alteration of reality, for, of course, the lack of the necessary wherewithal or intestinal fortitude for actually FACING reality. And that cheesy spoken-word sound bite doesn’t help much either, just what’s probably some trust fund baby flicking their poetic little “spliff” and then passing it off as cinematic, or something like that.
By track two “Honeycomb” (I’m guessing this is the kiss of death) we’re back to long-winded heavy metal, the likes of which I for one have heard from Baroness, Wolves in the Throne Room and so many more until I want to spew. It’s manufactured emotion, commissioned and distributed darkness, a band having no fun in trying to cash in on an entire community which is apparently having no fun either. And the worst part is, Green Day already stole the idea of having a bunch of people throwing sh** at each other on the album cover.