There are days when you sit up until late at night and you simply do not have any interest to go to bed, urinate or eat, even though you feel the desperate need to do such. Well what do you do in a time like that? Look for a doctor and get checked up for insomnia? Contemplate which album you're going to listen to next? Masturbate? There are a lot of possibilities on how to carry on with your feeble life, one of them is to simply take it easy, clear your head and listen to some decent harmless stoner music. That's where Sweden's newcomer SWITCH OPENS comes into function to take you to their own personal chill-out-zone.
Stoner Rock/Metal has always been a peculiar scene, with a lot of ups and downs in the music, sometimes really really hard to differentiate between the "Doom" side and the actual "Stoner" side. As early as SABBATH, the music was designed to take you through the darkest hallways of your mind and disconnect you from anything that bothered you. It's interesting that although so much time has passed, the basic formula still works for the typical slow style of music. As other styles, it has developed alongside its parallel evolution with gadgets and digital mastering/rendering/whatever to a sea of unlimited possibilities where even the most abstract imagination can be translated into something audible.
SWITCH OPEN's' debut, which is another brainchild of the 21st century is actually a pretty good start for a new band, easily securing the path to a bright future. The gimmicks are there, the use of modern electronics is omnipresent and creates that dramatic post-modern feeling modern music should incorporate, but something floats about in the overall feeling that makes you wonder about a couple of things. One aspect is the really strange, almost Nu-Metal-ish approach to Stoner Metal. The vocals are quite weak sometimes and resemble either a dog ("Paper Walls"), a screamo attempt or simply "KoRn". Apart from some regressive deliveries, the vocals are overall decent, with a nice rasp to them and fit with the rest of the music nicely, mostly when he doesn't try to scream, but varies between a relatively clean singing to a sort of half-sung rasp. The songs themselves, to be more exact: the instrumental parts, create most of the creepy and eerie atmosphere that will grasp you by the neck and pull you down. The music sometimes reminds me of a mixture between Desert Rock classics such as KYUSS or QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE, but have a heavier feeling to them, while still keeping their subliminal message. A definite good start and interesting future awaits these Swedish warriors.
(Online December 24, 2009)