“Brand New Disease” just feels dated. The album would probably have done well in the post-NINE INCH NAILS realm of Alternative/Goth Rock that prospered in the mid-90s. Maybe it would have gotten some decent MTV exposure and made its presence felt on mainstream Rock radio. However, at this point in musical evolution, few have the patience for repetitive and simplistic dance music fronted by Jessica Vale’s limited vocal range.
The album is plagued with songs that overstay their welcome, even if most are less than four minutes. On “Lonely Life,” the same five-note baseline plays throughout, eventually giving the feeling that one is being not-so-gently thumped in the back of the head with a soft mallet to the rhythm of the song. “Night in Sarajevo” comes off as a sadly awkward attempted at being sexually provocative, made even less erotic by Vale’s decision to replace singing with rhythmic talking.
There are things the album gets right: the guitar hook in “Exit” and the vocal melody in “No Soul” are catchy and infectious. “Mirror Check” begins with a promising beat but once Vale’s faux-confident “singing” enters the equation, the track devolves into something totally unlistenable. There is simply nothing imaginative or noteworthy here and if you’ve made it to the end of this review, you’ve already wasted too much time on “Brand New Disease.”
(Online October 5, 2007)