No Middle Ground - No Middle Ground

Published Tuesday 10th October 2006
No Middle Ground - No Middle Ground
No Middle Ground - No Middle Ground

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
LABEL: Independent

Reviewed by Paul Kercal

I always get the feeling with this sort of CD that the music has lost something in the translation from live delivery to recorded track. On opening track "Stronghold" this California-based band go for that anthemic jump-when-told sound, moving from cookie cutter verse structure into bridge and chorus that you can easily imagine the lights dipping and then flooding up high as the crowd bounces on audible cue. In reality the version of the song the CD delivers doesn't manage to capture the feeling, like an almost successful CGI recreation of a human walking. It's got the moves but is just missing something that should be there. Then, as the CD progresses, that something starts to click, if in a haphazard, occasionally misfiring manner: "Make It Last Forever" starts to create a slightly more distinctive groove before "Shannon's Song" and "Zion" point none too subtly towards two of the band's nominated influences - the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Bob Marley. "Take Life" manages a fuller, richer sound before "Blindman" comes in with a completely different, less successful, direction. All in all this is an occasionally intriguing debut from a band who are obviously growing as they move forwards. I'll be interested to see which of the numerous directions they've followed they choose to concentrate on and hone in the future.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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