Inner Surge

Independent release, 2003

REVIEW BY: Vish Iyer


Introduction first: Inner Surge best fits under the rubric of nu-metal, with a lot of punk infused. It is what System Of A Down would sound like if Dexter Holland lost his way and hitched a ride in System Of A Down's car, which is on its way to the hospital to succor the badly injured Chester Bennington, whom it accidentally ran over just before it picked up Dexter. It is literally a one-man band -- singer, rapper, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, etc. Steve Moore pretty much is the band. So, this band is not "nu-metal" when it comes to having six members, with at least two of them obese.

Matrika is as nu-metal as it can be. The opening track, "Driven," one of the best in the album, is probably the only straightforward grunge song in the album -- it is a Nirvana with trimmed edges. There are, however the odd polished keyboard and guitar-work, making their way into quite a few number of songs in my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Matrika, pacifying the effusing anger that spews out so shamelessly. The refreshingly refined acoustic riff of "In Code," and its subtle guitar-craft that are ruthlessly and unnecessarily squashed when the song decides to speed up a little bit, with the possessed Steve screaming "We all stand in code" do show a bit of that "overdone" angst of the band.

The writing is typical of a nu-metal outfit, and surprisingly the band doesn't swear -- kudos! The lyrics are smart and cheeky in a lot of instances, making the album even more enjoyable with the lyrics-booklet as an accompaniment to the listening experience. In the cleverly written "The Fall," Steve sings, "temptation tickles your finger and rips off your arm" about those times in our lives, where we so easily wander off into the wrong path, which somehow seems so hard to resist, and (we) "see the fruit but not the poison," according to Steve.

The band Web site says that it plays for charity and explores politics. The signs of this nature of the band is most obvious in the funk-rock "The Deepest Wound," where Steve raps, "Why all this belief in Columbus Day? He stole a pure native people's land and committed mass murder may our love resurrect them today," and then tops it off sardonically with "Monkeys don't grow Lion's manes." More signs of the band's political outrage is seen in "Impact," where Steve sings "we line up to shake the hand that blames. But when it points at us we are ready to fight," and in the last track "Our Rights," with Steve screaming "Promises for centuries kept our gaze fixated on the sky, and fueled illusion and war with force-fed national pride."

Amongst the eight tracks, the grungy "Driven," the snappy "The Fall," the classic rock "Beneficial Fever" and the funk-rap "The Deepest Wound" are standouts. For an indie band that is still in its infancy, Inner Surge shows potential and quality, and as a nu-metal album, Matrika is definitely worth giving a listen.

Rating: B

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© 2004 Vish Iyer 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 Independent release, and is used for informational purposes only.