"A Life Less Ordinary" (LTU Music / Barking Dog Studios; 2007)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

Fans of Less Than Under often describe the band as intense. There will be no disagreement from me on that point. With “A Life Less Ordinary,” Less Than Under, hailing from the Denver area, offer a new perspective on modern metal – sort of keeping the creative genesis of nu-metal but also adding traditional and new spins on that genre’s sound.

Less Than Under’s music is bold and direct. Even better, Less Than Under’s performances are consistent throughout the CD. The eleven tracks that make up “A Life Less Than Ordinary” feature solid riffs that accurately represent rage and frustration – that might be a bit overdone in today’s musical landscape, but it really works here.

The touch of programming/programmed sound adds to the suffocating oppression of the band’s music. It also reminds me a little bit about hearing Drown for the first time – or the same kind of the effect to my ears – and this is a compliment. Drown may never had the kind of exposure of mainstream bands, but the overall impact and importance of the auditory reference point is the same to me.

The lyrics are blunt – there’s no mistaking what the band sings about nor is there any doubt as to how the band members feel about the life defining situations. The band even offers a Disclaimer to remind listeners that “A Life Less Ordinary” is a reflection of the band member’s life experiences and are not a set of instructions. The lyrics are so to the point and descriptive that they seem to truly reflect the band’s life experiences in an almost documentary way. 

“A Life Less Ordinary” was produced by Michael Aranda. The production is fantastic for an independent release.

Less Than Under: Dustin Hollmer on lead vocals, Michael Aranda on guitars, programming, and backing vocals, Mike Gray on bass, and Jace Nimz on drums, percussion, and backing vocals.

For more information visit http://www.lessthanunder.com

"A Life Less Ordinary" (LTU Music / Barking Dog Studios; 2007)

Reviewed by Snidermann

Sometimes metal must be a gritty, dirty mess, not some sweet band with a tall good looking singer up on stage trying to impress the ladies. Motorhead and Lemmy comes immediately to mind and now Less Than Under can be counted with another gravelly (but totally understandable) singer. 

This music on this CD pulls no punches. When you listen to it, you'll probably either really like it or you'll think it's shit. I am in the former category. "A Life Less Ordinary" kicks you in the back of the head, hard and often enough to black you out for a few minutes. Then,  you put the headphones back on, take a few aspirin and go through the whole thing again. 

Even though the vocals are coarse, you can understand every word of the lyrics and, after three spins, I still find myself trying to figure what they all mean. Oh, what the hell, it's half the fun trying to figure this stuff out. 

Song after song, "A Life Less Ordinary" delivers a action-packed metal experience. This is the real deal: no hidden meanings, no fancy packaging, just solid heavy metal. Man, I am sweating just listening to this. I'm going to have to get a Gatorade and start yet again. 

Less Than Under: Michael Aranda - Guitars, programming, backing vocals; Jace Nimz - Drums, percussion, backing vocals; Dustin Hollmer - Vocals; Mike Gray - Bass.

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

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 © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 28 Nov 2021 13:23:28 -0500.