Of all the Nu Metal bands, there are those who survived the fall to become more than just the Nu Metal bands that they were in the 90s and 00s. There are those who didn’t survive and fell prey to label drops and fan’s fickle attentions and then there are those who survived, but probably shouldn’t have. SOIL, unfortunately, fall into that third category. They were a Nu Metal band who at one time released one of the best albums of the genre (see their album “Scars”), but have quickly fallen to mediocrity, line-up changes, and have only become a band that just sounds like everyone else. It’s sad really as at one point they were on my list of bands to keep my keen eye on and have now fallen to one where I was shocked to see they had a new album. Unfortunately, my curiosity got to me and I ended up picking up their latest album “Picture Perfect”.
Poor choice on my part.
I should have judged this one by its cover. Normally, I’m not one to judge by an album’s cover, but when I saw this HINDER/Hard Rock bullshit cover of a half naked chick with tears streaming down her face and the title “Picture Perfect”, I should have just stayed away. But curiosity killed the Matt, as I like to say, and I talked myself into throwing down the album. The music on “Picture Perfect” is pretty much just as cliché as their RATT rip off album cover with only two or three songs that I found worth the listen.
SOIL have become your average Hard Rock band with the occasional Metal element. Since the loss of their old vocalist to another now shitty band DROWNING POOL and the loss of their guitarist Shaun Glass to his new outfit DIRGE WITHIN, this band just couldn’t recoup. Their song writing has become pretty cliché radio friendly Hard Rock with a heavier edge (now with the occasional solo!) with bass heavy mixes, a focus on that melodic guitar hook, and a vocalist who tries very hard to give his crooning post Grunge voice a bit of a growl and too many whiny emotions, “Picture Perfect” is what I would refer as their worst release thus far. That goes a long way considering their last album was pretty horrid too. The album is full of filler with only a couple of songs that were written strong enough to warrant release and their lackluster style and overproduced sound just make this an album to avoid. I’m sorry SOIL, but you have fallen a long way.
I just wish the band could find their footing and release another album like they used to. Doubt its every going to happen, as SOIL have tried to change with the time a bit too much, but I keep having this false hope. I’m sure with their next album I’m trick myself again with curiosity but I hope since this album was such an awful experience that I finally learn from my mistakes. And that SOIL does too.
(Online January 12, 2010)