Revengine - II

Owain Paciuszko 02/08/2009

Rating: 3/5

Scandinavia seems to have a knack for producing bands heavily influenced by the more classic eras of big, 'ass-kicking' rock, but for a large part a lot of the acts that bubble up to the surface suffer from being far too derivative and rooted in the past, not establishing a feel all of their own. Fortunately - and despite expectations formed by fonts - Revengine corrall their passions into creating something that ticks the 'rock' box without coming across as a Spinal Tap-like parody.

Lead track F(r)iend has a mean, sneering melody and a rather Dave Grohl-esque vocal performance by vocalist/guitarist Antti Jokiranta, mixing in a suitably moody piano into the mix, instantly informing the more jaded rock ear that these guys know the value of good production and clever arrangment alongside their beefy hooks.

Disco BS switches things into a different gear, and Antti's voice takes on a different personality altogether, but the track is played loose and energetically, with a certain Devil-may-care vibe that forgives the rather bland 'Somebody save me' chorus. The Wait seems musically possessed by The Smashing Pumpkins, and whilst Antii's vocals transform again he doesn't quite morph into Billy Corgan, the song itself juggles its shimmering verses with a chorus eeking, awkwardly close to territory plowed by - whisper it - Nickelback.

Closing track Yet Here We Are opens with a suitably icy chill of wind, the following song is probably the flimsiest here in all regards; musically a bit tepid, with lyrics and vocals that veer between awkward and - occasionally - embarassing. However, as a sample of a band this is a pretty interesting collection; it seems to be a chunk taken at random out of a catalogue of music rather than a deliberate showcase of an act and, I personally feel, may not be exactly an accurate representation of what Revengine are really capable of. Whether they can actually do better (or worse?) is something to be heard.