Welcome to the latest edition of KNEEJERK, where we preview some new releases and give our short, "kneejerk" reaction...
Various artists “Saw 3D Soundtrack”
What type of music comes to mind when you watch the wildly popular slasher flick, “Saw”? We don’t have the eerie orchestral stabs of Psycho, or the chirp chirp –pa pa pa sound of Friday the 13th, or the frantic and haunting piano of Halloween...we have blistering hard rock. Whatever you think of this tired movie series, “Saw 3D Soundtrack” may as well be a “Now: That’s What I Call Hard Rock” CD. The “Saw 3D Soundtrack” is packed with great artists, some of whom we have previously reviewed on BMF like Krokus and Kopek (why Kopek is not huge by now I have no idea). Others on this record even better known to modern rock fans include Saliva, Hinder, and Saving Abel. There is even a smattering of progressive bands like Karnivool and techno-rock bands like Nitzer Ebb. The key question – are these tracks just sloppy seconds by these artists or do they synergize and make for a good soundtrack from start to finish? I’d have to argue for the latter – this powerhouse of a soundtrack is more consistent than most, with the worst “songs” (virtually just abrasive noise) tacked onto the end as almost an afterthought. Best tracks are Hinder’s “Waking Up The Devil”, My Darkest Day’s “The World Belongs To Me”, Default’s “Turn It On”, Adelita’s Way’s “Scream”, and of course Kopek’s “Love Is Dead”. Tracks by Saliva and Boom Boom Satellites were disappointing.
Good Charlotte "Cardiology"
I’ve always enjoyed this Maryland band, ever since their breakthrough hit “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” from 2002’s “The Young and the Hopeless” tore up the charts. Good Charlotte is classified by some as emo, pop punk, or what have you…but it is safe to say they specialize in radio-friendly pop rock with an edge. “Cardiology” is the band’s fifth effort and is supposed to sound like Blink-182. Well, why not just sound like Good Charlotte? The record gets off to a reasonable, albeit predictable, start with staples like “Let The Music Play” and “Counting The Days”. The middle of the record is quite lame with cliché by-the-book tunes like “Sex On The Radio” and “Last Night”, and an occasion misstep into dance rock territory with head scratching songs like “Like It’s Her Birthday”. Saving the record somewhat is the inspirational power ballad “Standing Ovation”, the jovial acoustic strumming in “1979”, and pop rocker “There She Goes”. Lyrically, the album is surprisingly empty and dull. “Cardiology” is good – but not heart stopping good. For a band that is heading into their second decade, a little more growth than this is expected.