Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Review: Voodoo Six - Faith

Label: White Knuckle Records

Released: 2007

England's Voodoo Six prefaced First Hit for Free, due out on March 24th, with this three song EP of their modern hard rock. "Faith" is the teaser's first and best track. It takes 70s hard rock and filters it through the 90s, largely influenced by Soundgarden's more mainstream, metally albums. The song isn't particularly original, but all elements are solid and Voodoo Six injects a fair amount of energy into it. They follow this up with "Feed My Soul" which is no more original, but lacks the previous song's electricity. The rhythms are lackluster, the riffs are flat and the solo is gratuitous. Like "Faith" though, it does display technical competence even if the songwriting and performance fizzle. "Crawl" splits the difference between the two, bringing back some of the punch of "Faith" without matching it. While I didn't find the Faith EP to be particularly compelling, it did show that the members of Voodoo Six are entirely competent even if they do struggle to standout. To their credit though, their skills are strong enough that they could be very flashy, yet they show quite a bit of restraint. Their biggest hurdle, even greater than a lack of any real originality, is their sacrifice of swagger for precision. Faith feels like everything is by the book rather than being elastic enough to show the band's personality.

Satriani: 8/10
Zappa: 3/10
Dylan: 5/10
Aretha: 4/10
Overall: 5/10



If you're curious about my rating categories, read the description.

Labels: , , ,


Blogger Metal Mark said...

I've heard the whole First hit for free CD and I like it a lot. I think it draws on influences from the 70's through to the 90's. Guns and Roses and Soundgarden might be two of the bigger influences. I was immediately impressed by their competence particularly the rhythm section because that's usually the weak spot for hard rock bands. I found most of the songs to be solid and their singer is realy good. I think they will stand out due to how tight they are as a unit and I think they shoot for this approach rather piling on flashy parts. I don't think they sacrifice swagger for precision as much as it is that their precise playing is wht we notice first. To me that was just because they are better players than most bands in this genre.

7:13 AM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

Bob, I don't really understand the way you're using your new rating scale here. If anything says 10/10 on the Satriani scale, it's the phrase "their sacrifice of swagger for precision. Everything is by the book rather than being elastic enough to show the band's personality."

Also, I don't see how a band whose best song "isn't particularly original" and whose worst song "fizzles" could possibly score a 5/10 on the Dylan scale. You clearly state that half of their three songs display weak songwriting and the other half aren't original, yet you give them a 5/10? (And keep in mind that, if this is a teaser, these are probably their best three songs.)

Reading your review, I would expect a rating more like Satriani 10, Zappa 2, Dylan 2, Aretha 4.

Regardless, your review makes me absolutely uninterested in hearing the band. If the best they have to offer is warmed-over, third-rate Soundgarden, I'll pass.

12:22 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Chuck, a 10 on the Satriani scale would involve an amazing level of technical skill, not just the sacrifice of swagger for precision. These guys are very good musicians, but not amazing technicians. You don't get a 10 just because you're more interested in being technically good than showing emotion. On the Dylan scale, they score a 5 which is between mediocre and good. Despite not being all that original, the songs are generally listenable. Lack of originality isn't going to completely kill them on the Dylan scale like it does on the Zappa scale. The fizzle was more in the performance and that hurt them mostly on the Aretha scale. Even there though, they weren't altogether uninspired, hence the 4 rather than a 2.

8:18 AM  
Blogger taotechuck said...

Bah. You're a softie.

Or maybe there's some payola happening. Maybe my big break in investigative journalism won't come from exposing punk bands who don't donate money to charity, but from exposing the free trips to Hawaii and the sports cars and the young women of ill repute who frequent your blog's offices.

Careful, Bobby... I'm watching you.

3:15 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

What kinda cut do I need to give you to keep you quiet? Do want the trip, the car or the ill repute?

3:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home