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The Sick Experience

In the last 2 weeks I’ve received 2 mighty fine hard rock albums from Estonia; Loom and ….(get ready for this) East Trading Wang. While East Trading Wang is actually the better and heavier of the two, Loom offer up a rock solid and more commercially appealing take on ballsy, hard rock akin to Motorhead meets Helmet.

The Motorhead comparison is directly related to vocalist Margus Sikk’s gruff tones, while the rollicking, rebellious metal riffs saunter with a red-eyed, hung over veil. Rumbling opener “24 Hours” begs for rock station radio play and easily holds its own to any modern contemporary rocks tracks. The next highlight, “Switch” is a moody, introspective semi ballad that again cries for mainstream radio play and exposure, but still has an underground sneer that might make it hard to swallow for American, lobotomized Nickelback fans. The chugging “U-Turn” has a very slight nu-metal lean within its rock framework, but it all reeks of popular success if it reaches the right ears. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t polished, hook laden, simplistic MTV arena rock, as there is a level of subversive and suitably off kilter Eastern European ambiance about the whole affair, but its that wide eyed, non commercially corrupt vigor that give Loom a air of refreshing newness.

As with most rock albums (at least to these Death metal destroyed ears), there is some ‘samey’ filler that just fills space such as “Shining” and “Something to Hide”, but otherwise the album romps with a level headed, foot-tapping energy as heard on “Whose in Charge?”, “Polyester Skin” and “Time”. Epic closer “Pictures” lists as eleven minutes long but has a long silent break and a burly hidden (cover?) track at the end (WHY do bands do this?), so the band isn't completely bereft of commercial Western influence. The production is stout but slightly under whelming, but as with most aspects of this album, it seems pure and free from over commercialization.

Truth be told, I’m probably a little under qualified to fully enjoy and review this album, considering my general apathy for mainstream rock metal, but I can easily tell this is a pretty solid album.

Author: Erik Thomas

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