Division Of Labor


The Music Cartel, 1999


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


There is an inherent danger when a band who carves out their own musical niche succeeds and makes a big name for themselves in the market. That is: other bands will soon follow suit and jump on your bandwagon.

Codeseven is a band that is part Tool, part Nine Inch Nails - only they don't excel at either side of the musical spectrum. One of the few bands I know of that utilizes two vocalists (one for melodic singing, one for vocal chord-scraping screams), their latest disc my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Division Of Labor is not the easiest disc to get through, nor is it one I'd recommend picking up on a lark.

The band - vocalists Jeff Jenkins (melodic) and David Owen (screams), guitarists James Tuttle and Eric Weyer, bassist Jon Tuttle and drummer Matt Tuttle - plow through the six songs that make up this mini-album, but they don't always worry about how the big picture sounds - and that, in fact, turns out to be their major flaw. It's all well and good to be gung-ho about the music, but if things don't sound like they're fitting together, it's all for naught.

These problems plague Division Of Labor right from the beginning. Codeseven seems to be more concerned about creating a ruckus than about a song necessarily. Having the layered vocals of Owen and Jenkins doesn't help matters; if anything, it makes them more complicated. Singing and screaming don't fit well together in general; layering it on top of the music on tracks like "Lights," "It Could Happen" and "How Many Miles To Babylon" reduces any hope of a song to sonic sludge.

Interestingly enough, the only thing that kept me interested in Division Of Labor was at the outro of the last song, "Leaches Of Karma," a song that dissolves into a piano piece played by Stewart Dance. (To prove that I'm no longer classically literate, I am unable to name the composer or the title of the piece he played, but it's beautiful.) While I enjoyed this rendition, it was a bizarre ending to a disappointing disc.

While the two vocalists doing two styles is a calling card for Codeseven, they might want to consider dropping to one style. I mean, you're either hardcore or you're not; make up your minds.

Codeseven might be a band who are still learning to develop their sound, but if Division Of Labor is any sign, I'd guess that some band members need to pick up the slack.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 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 The Music Cartel, and is used for informational purposes only.