Despite having a great concept for their second album “Pleasures And Fear," REGARDLESS OF ME is trapped within this world of random influences and endless creativity. This creative flow is both what makes “Pleasures And Fear” such a unique listen and why the album generally falters too. At times, the inspiration is refreshing and insightful, but more often it feels too spastic to build an entire album on.
After the intro, REGARDLESS OF ME quickly delves into what “Pleasures And Fear” is about: Industrial style keyboard licks, Modern style musical flourishes of stop-and-go rhythms and crunchy bass lines, and a duel vocal attack consisting of Death Metal screams and Gothic toned female soaring melodies. The first full track, “Until I Die,” nails this combination, bringing a modern look to some classic Metal foundations as the band navigates through the melodies and aggressive speeds for a catchy and memorable sound.
After that though, the creative flow of “Pleasures And Fear” takes the album to some very unexpected places. The Bluesy bass driven intro of “A Darkened Sky” pops into an aggressive Modern Metal song with no intermediation to work the listener in, the band randomly bursts into Jazzy passages with little rhyme or reason to the general continuity of the music, and the random MADONNA cover seems a bit out of the left field in the flow of the album.
Despite my initial distaste for what I was being given on “Pleasures And Fear," the album has some very clever and well-executed moments. At its best, the band can certainly craft some balanced and catchy music of very high caliber. The issue is that the inconsistency of the band’s flow and disorienting shifts of style make for a tough listen even on repeated spins. It’s a hot fire that REGARDLESS OF ME plays with and even though they craft some beautiful things with it, one also gets burned from time to time.
Song to check out: “Until I Die."
(Online June 28, 2011)