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The Sick Experience

Despite the fact that the packaging on this thing looks really curious, I guess this Estonian trio just has a strong artistic sense of design, because there's nothing surprising about the music at all – except for the fact that I was not at all expecting 40 minutes of straight up heavy rock 'n' roll! It's basically a more modern take on straight hard rock, so there are definitely some traditional 70's sounding licks here and there, but for the most part it's heavy power chords and gruff singing without much of a vocal range, so they're not going for some sort of fuzzed out "stoner rock" throwback record or anything like that at all. There's definitely a contemporary flare thrown in, to varying degrees of effectiveness, but even though I'm not blown away, I actually think there are a couple of tunes here that are pretty promising. My personally favorite is "Switch", which opens with thick melodic basslines that really give it a different sense of character, as do the sparse lead melodies and picking textures that follow as things start to build into a more emotional sounding concoction that holds more weight than some of the quirkier or more rock 'n' roll sounding elements. "Spiritual Madness" is pretty straightforward and has a memorable disposition that injects a little more speed (barely) and some energetic leads that definitely move things along, and the melodic surges in the midpaced closer "Pictures" actually harness the most potential here. I really dig the way the vocals feel a little more emotional against that style of guitar work, and the dynamics in this track seem a little more involved throughout. After a couple of minutes of blank space there's an unlisted track that sounds a little different from the others, both in terms of sound quality and the writing, which is more along the lines of "Pictures" but given more of a Helmet-esque staccato twist that's not as rocked out as the other material. I'm not sure what the deal is there. The production's fine. It needs work, but I can live with it. What they mainly need is some more juice to the guitar tone. The rhythm section is basically in order, and the mix is nice and clear, but I think the guitars ought to either go for a warmer form of traditional rock distortion, or a heavier crunch that would add some density to the tracks. My vote would definitely go for the latter approach, as the band's style has a more modern edge to it, specifically in groovier numbers like "U-Turn", and that would definitely be aided by a heavier and more dominant distortion on the guitars. I do like the layout a lot, though. Like I said, it looks pretty curious what with all of the handwritten text and bold photography of odd subjects like plastic dolls and weird buildings with strange colors and whatnot, so it creates a much different picture than the music delivers, but at least the packaging looks really cool even if it is a bit misleading! The lyrics are fairly open ended as well: "You let your pants down and destroy our purity, Now we're in this shit together, You just fucked up everything! And so we burn… together… now." It needs work, but a few of these tracks could've made a great 7". I'd like to hear the band head more in the direction of "Switch" and "Pictures", which have a little more feeling and movement happening, while falling back on streamlined heavy rockers like "Spiritual Madness" and keeping the other forays to a minimum. Admittedly a lot of the tracks here that are less memorable can simply be attributed to inconsistent songwriting, but if they can reach the point where every tune they craft is at the level of something like "Switch"? Sign me up. (6/10)

Zine: Aversionline.Com

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