I thought the experiment of mixing Rap with Rock (and its subgenres) was regarded as a failure. Sure, there were bands like FAITH NO MORE and RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE that did it very well, plus there was that classic RUN-DMC/AEROSMITH cover/collaboration “Walk This Way”, but any attempt to mix those two genres since, oh, 1996 has been nothing but an utter failure (see: Nu-Metal movement). This was in part due to the atrocious rapping of the bands’ vocalists, but the monotonous and angst ridden music didn’t help. The music was generally devoid of any melody, or anything else, for that matter; being relegated to play some asinine chord pattern ad nauseum. That’s why the genre died a quick death.
Oh, you’ll say, NAME IN VAIN doesn’t only use Rap vocals in their music! Yea, I know, but this review needed some sort of intro where I’m complaining, and the above fits the criteria. Besides, the only song where he decides to try something different, even though he uses that very clichéd talk in a low voice SCREAM AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS approach throughout, with the band doing the same thing, but the other three songs? Bad “I’m a tough white guy with street-cred!” rapping. He’s not particularly good at it either, so it makes me want to rip my ears off.
The music doesn’t help either, with the band playing some boring power chord patterns or unmusical syncopated riffs. Which sound totally boring and straight out of the “rhythm guitar syncopation 101” handbook. The riffs, frankly, feels like they were written in 2 minutes, with hardly any thought behind it. Oh yea, “Pitbull Wings” has possibly the worst segue in recorded history. The “heavy” chorus riff, a 5 second pause, which then leads to some atrocious clean part (with worse singing)? That’s the transition?
This feels like a bunch of frat boys were given guitars and told to start playing Metal.
(Online October 8, 2008)