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THE BLANK THEORY

"Beyond the Calm of the Corridor" (New Line Records / Scratchie Records)
"Catalyst" (Four Alarm Recordings)


"Beyond the Calm of the Corridor" (New Line Records / Scratchie Records; 2002)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

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I'm really surprised that The Blank Theory is on New Line Records and not Wind-Up Records. Wind-Up, the home of such bands as Creed, Big Dismal and 12 Stone, has a knack for signing bands that have a trendy sound that will sell thousands of records but that aren't so painfully formulaic (or "spongerock-ish") that you can't stand them.

Maybe I'd better re-phrase that. A lot of people can't stand them. So let's put it this way - more people like them than don't as is proven by Wind-Up Records' impressive sales results.

The Blank Theory's "Beyond the Calm of the Corridor" is radio-friendly rock that still has a little bite. It can probably be called emo or nu-metal or any other term you want to describe new music, but it isn't bad, although it isn't very original either. Despite that, "Beyond the Calm" is a pretty solid rock'n'roll record. There may not really be one track that stands out on the CD, but there isn't one that really sucks either. Hey, works for me.

Fans of Creed, Big Dismal and the like will find something to like about The Blank Theory's "Beyond the Calm of the Corridor."

The Blank Theory is: Nathan Leone - vocals; Michael Foderano - guitars; James Knight - drums; and Matthew Leone - bass.

For more information, check out http://www.blanktheory.com


"Catalyst" (Four Alarm Recordings)

Reviewed by Alicia Downs

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The Blank Theory hails from Chicago where they popped their performance cherry New Year's Eve, 1998. From their own bio: "The Blank Theory offers melodic and emotional vocals on a blanket of groove-oriented, hard-edged underpinning . Lyrically, they address social, political, and religious issues prevalent in today's society, through the eyes of both the victims and the aggressors."

Their bio seems to be the fairest representation of what "Catalyst" encompasses. They are not a metal act, rather a rock band with the song type vocals found from the likes of Pressure 4-5 or Incubus. The music is not overwhelmingly bone crushing and the vocals are little in the way of vicious presentation. The overall package is fair in the melodic label that many an act seems to be stretching for in this return to rock inclination.

"Corporation" started things off well enough. The vibe was serene and vocals appropriately flowing with the calm musical demeanor. "Daylight's New Life" solidified the purity in the rock sound that The Blank Theory sites from such influences as Tool and Black Sabbath to indie group Idaho. 

The exception to the pure rock rule was fifth track, "Recluse," that came across way too angst-ridden. "Recluse" could have easily been burned on the Adema CD without anyone being any the wiser. With each dreary and drug-out bleat, I reached out grasping for the skip track button. Mommy, make this one stop.

"Catalyst" works quite appropriately as a musical channel into the melodious world of rock that was once forsaken for grungy pissed off white kids with nothing better to do but bitch about mommy, daddy, and the fact that most of them think they were from some sort of ghetto.  For that alone "The Blank Theory" gets my nod of approval proving that you do not have to be kicking ass with a ferocious musical and vocal attack all of the time to make an album that actually kicks ass. And just as an FYI, when I say "so-so you've heard better" - I mean this in the best possible light - that you have heard better from masters of melody and emotional chords through nationally respected acts like Tool and Incubus.

The Blank Theory is: Nathan Leone (vocals), Michael Foderano (guitars), James Knight (drums), and Matthew Leone (bass).  

Official Web Site: http://www.blanktheory.com 


Rating Guide:

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) A classic. This record will kick your ass.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes)retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) So-so. You've heard better.

retinysaw.gif (295 bytes) Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

restinks.jpg (954 bytes) Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


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Copyright 2003  by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Feb 2016 12:56:00 -0500.