Forgiveness

Grudge

House Of Hits Productions / Buddha Records, 2001

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 10/05/2001

On the surface, the hard rock quartet Grudge wants you to believe that they're a breath of fresh air in a stagnating music scene. They suggest, without using the words themselves, that they could be the biggest thing out of the Northwest since groups like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam left their legacies.

If only they could live up to that hype. Forgiveness, Grudge's debut, is more akin to a poor man's Godsmack, albeit with a little more anger and intensity at times. It's not a bad disc, but it's not one that leaps out at the listener as a "must-own" type of album.nbtc__dv_250

Hailing from Billings, Montana, the band - vocalist Gerrick Phillips, guitarist Richard J. Candelaria, bassist Brian Coleman and drummer Marco Castro - try to set themselves apart by occasionally throwing in a time signature or rhythm pattern change into the music, a trick used to perfection by many other bands. The difficulty is knowing the right time to utilize such tricks in the music - and, on songs like "Forgiveness," it sometimes feels like they're being utilized just because the band knows how to. It's a bit disconcerting for the listener, and makes the album that much harder to follow at the outset. (Rule number seventeen: Don't confuse the listeners on the first song of your debut disc. That's a sure way to lose them permanently.)

For much of the 44 minutes that Forgiveness takes to get through, Grudge fail to set themselves apart from any number of bands who spew angst among crunching guitar chords. Maybe the occasional sample (as heard at the beginning and end of the album) help to break things up a little bit, but songs like "Carni," "Suck Factor" and "Pissed Sick" don't suggest that Grudge aspires to reaching the top of the gloom-rock heap. Then again, they don't necessarily fail completely as songs; tracks like "New Seed" and "Hate Me" offer rays of hope for the listener.

It's not that Grudge did a bad job on Forgiveness, and it's not that they didn't try hard enough to overcome the inevitable comparisons. But Grudge seems to want to be taken on their own merits and accepted as a unique band. If only they had offered a little more evidence to warrant this.

2001 Christopher Thelen and "The Daily Vault". All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of House Of Hits Productions / Buddha Records, and is used for informational purposes only.

Rating: C

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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© 2001 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of House Of Hits Productions / Buddha Records, and is used for informational purposes only.