A difficult thing this is, indeed, to review this release and keep the focus on the album itself without crossing the line and merely complaining about the conventions of the band's chosen genre. I do not like Metalcore, yet I am firm believer that talented musicians exist in all forms of music, even those that I do not like. As a critic, I am rightfully expected to recognize talent when I hear it, even if it is not something that I enjoy.
So when I sat down to give this a close listen, I really wanted to hear something praiseworthy. I wanted to be able to demonstrate for the readers that my bias against Metalcore would not prevent me form giving this album a fair shake.
Sadly, I did not hear what I was hoping so desperately to detect.
FOMENTO's release, “Either Caesars Or Nothing”, is remarkable for its repetitiveness and strict adherence to formula. The riffs are sharp, punctuated, and bottom-heavy, yet of limited variety. The bass is prominent, but serves only to add some punch to the guitars. While it is easy to understand how the simplicity of rhythms plus a dominating bottom-end sound can get heads banging, it lacks originality.
Vocally, we get the standard Metalcore fare. There is no passion in them. To be sure, vocalist Marko Krasinski sounds angry enough, but this performance doesn't acknowledge the range of emotion that “anger” can convey – focused animosity directed at someone or something; seething, enmity; outrage at an overall condition? Nothing so specific is communicated here, as the band apparently opt for a lowest-common-denominator “I'm pissed off” approach.
There is no complexity here, not in the playing, the rhythms, or the arrangements. Simplicity is not necessarily a bad thing – hell, the RAMONES revolutionized contemporary music with their lack of musical frills. FOMENTO, on the other hand, do not demonstrate any of the cleverness or musical variety that made the RAMONES such geniuses.
At the end, what we are left with is a saccharine performance. It may satisfy a basic craving, but this record is neither satisfying nor fulfilling. Listeners wanting a simple performance that is full of energy with some piss and vinegar thrown in can find better outlets elsewhere.
(Online October 20, 2009)