****VOLCANIC

"Anhedonia" (Rut Records; 2003)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

 

First and foremost, the name of this band is pronounced "Four Star Volcanic" even though it actually says "Four Asterisk Volcanic" at the top of this page. It's too much of a pain in the ass for me to come up with stars of different fonts and sizes. Here's my first recommendation to ****Volcanic: Change your damn name.

****Volcanic have reportedly fared pretty well on college radio and, listening to "Anhedonia" (which is defined as "The absence of pleasure or the ability to experience it") it's obvious why. The band's multi-faceted, alt-rock, sometimes pseudo-metal style is the kind of stuff that does well on college radio where music fans sometimes confuse "different" with "great." 

It's not that "Anhedonia" is a bad CD, it's just that it's not very exciting. Sure, it's a little different, but so is Insane Clown Posse (a bad reference - ****Volcanic bear not even a passing resemblance to that band). "Anhedonia" is 12 tracks of cerebral rock'n'roll that may play well in a college setting, but probably nowhere else. It's the kind of music you might expect to see on a David Lynch soundtrack. In other words, you know it's going to be slightly bizarre but not necessarily engrossing.

The musicianship here is fine, as evidenced by the band's ability to do their own thing and to do it well. When the guitars aren't trudging along pointlessly, there are some pretty decent riffs and licks here. And I love a few of the titles and their subject matter: "Blank Expectations," "Catholic Lapse" and (my favorite) "We the Sheeple." Overall, however, the CD just doesn't work for me. It's too much "alt" and not enough "rock," although when it comes closer to the latter, it's not half bad.

Fans of jam bands and the likes of Frog Brigade may enjoy ****Volcanic.

****Volcanic: Link Soutar - guitars, lead and backing vocals; Brian Beginald - bass; Dave Jones - lead guitar; Dan Korn - drums, percussion, backing vocals.

For more information, write:
Rut Records
1091 Castle Drive
Watkinsville, GA 30677

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 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 05 Mar 2017 12:56:12 -0500.