Sprockets – Medicated Empty (CD)

The title track for “Medicated Empty” ties together LostProphets, Muse, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Radiohead into something that immediately strives to distinguish itself from the pack. It is during “Your Infection” that the band is truly able to spread their wings, though. The confident guitars unite to splashy guitars and vocals that double dip by both furthering the narrative side of things while adding much to the intricate harmonies that are created on the track. It is worth noting that the drums have a truly dynamic quality here, moving from a position backing up the rest of the band to turning heads through nuanced and heavy arrangements later on in the track.

“Blue Burns in Butterflies” is a track that defies convention, as the acoustic guitar and vocals work with each other in a vein similar to that of Blink 182’s “Stay Together For The Kids” era. Sprockets even turn that comparison on its ear, imbuing the track with a harder edge that bubbles underneath the surface at all times. “Uniformed Mascara” further opens up the possibilities available Sprockets during “Medicated Empty”, as the trippy sound created by the band here is reminiscent of Oasis, with hints of fuzz that should seem more as an homage to the drone and progressive genres. It is really during “Safety Nets and Fastened Windows” that band finds their stride, as the smart use of time signatures and dramatic tension that push this track into the stratosphere.

The band works on a number of different levels during the song, providing casual listeners an outward sound to the track that would work perfectly on any rock station. “Nebraska” continues the trend of dense arrangements and outward radio-friendliness. I feel that Sprockets, on their “Medicated Empty” are really able to perfect what acts like At The Drive-In began all the way back in the mid-1990s. They are able to unite inspired instrumentation with a sound that will capture the hearts of young and old while not deviating from the vision that each member has for the band. Check them out live, pick up “Medicated Empty”, and see exactly what I am talking about.

Top Tracks: Medicated Empty, Safety Nets and Fastened Windows

Rating: 8.8/10

Sprockets – Medicated Empty / 2009 Blynd Pheasant / 13 Tracks / http://www.myspace.com/sprocket

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