The first demo from Italian Nu-Metallers STRAW, “Burned” is a collection of four tracks intended to showcase their talent and hopefully find them a record deal. On my first listen, I laughed and said, “Not a chance in hell!” However, upon listening to “Burned” several more times, I began to second-guess myself.
The opening track, “Smothered Years”, is a simple, straightforward piece of metal, with tried-and-true drop D riffing and vocals distressingly reminiscent of NICKELBACK’s Chad Kroeger on Robitussin. However, the next track, “Nothing’s Man (Fat Bastard Blues)”, was enjoyable enough, particularly due to its evil-yet-laid-back intro. The snare roll when the song kicks into gear is pretty sweet and the fact that it’s the quickest song on the demo is a plus.
Nevertheless, “Away” drags us back into the musically boring realm of Nu-metal and “On The Highway” ensures that we stay there. Still, it’s only a demo, so there’s much room for improvement and well, Nu-Metal is apparently “hot” right now, so…
STRAW aren’t the best band I’ve ever heard (not by a long shot), but they’re certainly not the worst. They’ve produced one enjoyable track in “Nothing’s Man”; if the album included more songs that deviate from the norm a little such as this one, it’d be a sound experience. Also, for an unsigned band, the production is quite decent; all instruments can be heard fairly clearly. Still, there’s that nagging issue of the three other songs on the demo, which are not only boring, but are all fairly similar…which is why this demo is escaping with a 6,5 out of 10. (Online September 27, 2006)