The Howlin' Wolf
June 29, 2006
I trace the nasaly, whiny voice so prevalent in emo songs back to blink-182. Too bad things have only gotten worse since TomDeLonge graced us with his overly earnest vocals.
It's like the effeminate, high-pitched vocal is a character that so many bands have to adopt in order to supposedly have any shot at stardom. It's so annoying. But, you know what's more annoying? When a band like Know Lyfe switches between the emo voice and the guttural metal howl for no reason. It doesn't work. I was confused because I didn't know why they didn't just pick one style(character) and go with it. They seemed confused as to who they actually were. The constant switch just made it look like they were sitting on the metal/emo fence in case either side wanted to pull them down. How are people supposed to take this band seriously if they jump so easily from haunted and sweet to angry and murderous?
The music was also more about what they could do instead of why they were doing it. In a prog fashion, the songs were broken up into so many pieces that I lost the plot and became indifferent to the music. The music was more about noodling and distortion than it was about melody and hooks. It was basically carried by the vocals. The band just wasn't tight enough to constitute any power. They were at least enthusiastic about the music, but it didn't seem sincere. It seemed like they were going through the motions. The vocalist engaged the crowd and tried to get them into the music, to little avail, while the bassist swung his bass around his body countless times. That was a neat trick. That brings us to the drummer. Well, the drummer was about as leaden and stoic as a drummer can be. He was always a small step behind the rest of the music.
The point of this is just to tell you to stay away from these guys. Or, if you like car wrecks, go for it, but I'll say I told you so.