Silvergun & Spleen: Semi Truck
Silvergun & Spleen’s ‘Semi Truck’ is a frustrating album, as a critic. I mean, the music here is thoroughly enjoyable, capably sung and performed; the music is layered and appropriately complex, high-speed and capably produced. The songs here are infectious enough for me to want to make ‘Semi Truck’ and any past or future Silvergun & Spleen’s albums a permanent part of my collection.
But I also can’t help feeling that I’ve heard this all before, and the two examples that keep coming to mind are Shiny Toy Guns and No Doubt. ‘Semi Truck’ sounds like the same kind of amped up Grrl-backed Power Rock, and it does little to distinguish itself from the fold.
Doubling my frustration is a one-two punch that makes no fucking sense: there is some serious DRM malware programmed into the album’s tracks, and yet, in spite of this, there’s not even the barest hint of metadata on the CD.
The DRM was pretty nasty, too: after initially loading the album – because so many other albums stopped working. As a file transfer issue, I could upload from my laptop to the MP3 player, but it wouldn’t let me download from the MP3 to my desktop – in fact, the DRM jumped ship from ‘Semi Truck’ onto 3 other albums I was transferring between computers via the MP3 player, and none of those albums worked on my player anymore. I had to reformat my MP3 player and reload several gigabytes worth of music onto it as a result.
The fact that such an aggressive, malicious Digital Rights Management malware could be installed without warning is in itself an insult to the consumer; an unnecessary restriction on what you can and cannot do with music you legally purchased. To exacerbate this fact with the total absence of song data on any of the tracks is just too much.
This album could have been rated 8 or even 9 out of 10; however, the authoritarianism of Silvergun & Spleen’s record label forces me to give it only minimal passing marks, much to my regret. The music here, the band performing – and the fans and consumers of this product – all deserve better.
Silvergun & Spleen: Semi Truck – 6/10
I was looking forward to this albm; Lovecraftian themes would be perfect fodder for Metal. The music is appropriately manic, numerically complex, but it has a homogenous unmelodious feel to it. The double-kicks are insanely good and the guitar work shows the efforts of skilled musicians, but the vocals are so low, growled and mumbled with such spitfire speed that they’re utterly incomprehensible; at some places, it sounds like a constipated Wookiee trying to push a rock from its arse. The songs, as instrumentals just don’t hold up, and the vocal track is lost behind the music.
I don’t know if this was deliberate on the part of the band, the sound and production engineers, or just how it all turned out, but this technical flaw kills what could have been a damn good album.
Auroch: From Forgotten Worlds – 5/10