|Mad At Gravity - Resonance|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Dan MacIntosh|
|Tuesday, 16 July 2002|
The members of Mad At Gravity are mad as hell, all right, and they’re not going to take it anymore. Resonance resonates, reeks and radiantly reflects outrage. Vocalist J. Lynn Johnston emotes like an out-of-control emo-head; the group grinds in a later-day grunge way; and producer Steve Evetts wraps this all up into one slick metallic package.
The band distinguishes itself from other more simplistic rock outfits, due to the fact that its arrangements don’t always follow predictable musical patterns. Guitarists James Lee Barlow and Anthony "Bosco" Boscarini more often than not fashion their ax lines into arpeggio rhythmic devices. Their playing is more about creating momentum than just showing off finger speed. At the same time, Resonance never fails to rock hard. A track called "The Collision," for example, contrasts its wall of guitar sound with Johnston’s overtly regretful-sounding vocals.
The main fault with overly dramatic music, like the kind Mad At Gravity makes, is that it starts to grow old fast. Where is the warmth? Where’s even a hint of humor? And whatever happened to a more well-rounded approach to viewing life? As with the boy who cried wolf, one can’t help but tune it all out after a while. Don’t go all Weird Al on us, fellas; but please lighten up – at least a little!
Still, if you can get past this band’s one-trick-pony emotional approach, there is much to be impressed by here. Unlike so many other bands of its ilk, Mad At Gravity displays a whole lot of inspired musicianship on this release. This is especially noteworthy, since what can best be described as a sort of musical primitivism permeates this particular metal subgenre. Mad At Gravity never settles for "been there, heard that" melodic hooks. Instead, it pushes inspiration to the limit.
In addition to the recommendation that Mad At Gravity broaden its lyrical horizons slightly, more of Boscarini’s piano playing (as found on the closing "Undefined Reversion") would also have greatly enhanced this project’s limited emotional scope. This particular track softens the band’s otherwise rough edges, without actually making these guys sound soft.
It is possible, friends and neighbors, to be both serious and entertaining at the same time, and once Mad At Gravity figures out this delicate balance, the group will be better able to benefit artistically from the gravity of this world’s obviously dire circumstances.