"F=0" (Time Bomb Recordings; 1999)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Disappointment Incorporated take a huge swing at radio-friendly hard rock conventions with "F=F." Combining the best of grunge's recklessness, England's pop sensibilities, and American inventiveness Disappointment Incorporated try their best to make a good first impression.

Strength in the lyrics makes this disc a must listen. Although I wouldn't classify Disappointment Incorporated as heavy metal they could make a case for being in the hard rock category. Disappointment Incorporated recalls Spite as they share the same left-of-center, off-kilter delivery. The band avoids repeating itself - this alone makes each song distinctive and interesting.

Brian Burns, the vocalist, sure sounds like Robert Smith of The Cure without all the suicidal gloominess. Now this doesn't mean Burns sings like Smith; Burns' delivery covers a lot of ground although he does have a tendency to be a bit wordy at times.

Modern U.S. society gets a harsh look in "American." The punkish "Forget" ruminates the fact that it's so hard to remember when you're trying to forget'. "Don't Think The Sun" evokes a dancehall sound with a fuzz guitar solo. The rumbling "Chinese," with its great chorus hook, sounds like a '90s version of The Cars on steroids. The lovelorn tear of "Anna" with its rockin' beats and a drastic burning guitar solo is a tribute to the dreaded act of your lover leaving you in a lurch. The slow build-up of "Vanishing" is very memorable in its special treatment of despair.

The rest of the songs are somewhat listless and pretend to be radio-friendly.

"F=0" was produced by Dave Jerden (Alice In Chains, The Offspring) and Bryan Carlstrom (Armored Saint, Anthrax, Orange Nine mm). Are Jerden and Carlstrom so hard up for work if he had to produce this?

Disappointment Incorporated is Brian Burns on vocals, Warren Haurt and, Mark Christian on guitar, Doug van Dyck on bass, and Roel Kuiper on drums. Haurt had played with Star 69; Christian had played with Engines Of Aggression.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 1999 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 26 Sep 2022 12:18:27 -0400.