Fall River – Lights Out (CD)

I don’t see what the big to do is with having a female singer sound like the mass of other singers out on the market. I mean, completely reminiscent of the traditional screamed-out vocals in the average technicore act are Ali’s vocals during “My Heart, The Beggar”. However, the backing instrumentation does some impressive things throughout the entirety of “Lights Out”. There are some influences present in the guitars, drum and bass lines that really tie Fall River into the earlier metal (think Anthrax and early Megadeth), sludge-rock (Fu Manchu, Monster Magnet, Kyuss) and even some of the harder, country-tinted music (Superjoint Ritual, Jackyl).

The tracks all end shortly after they begin; while there is not the ploy for radio play that a great deal of the hardcore/emocore bands make on their albums, there is a sincerity in arrangements that really makes “Lights Out” an enjoyment to listen to . The inclusion of a second set of vocals during “I’m Not a Big Fan…” really spices up the track; the unlikely duet really gives the track a harmony that cannot be find in other places on “Lights Out”. Unfortunately, the track has one of the shortest runtimes of any on the disc; this really makes sense as Fall River really wants to keep innovating and challenging their listeners. Recalling Fear Factory with the tremendous role that John’s drums have during “If We Knew Then…”, Fall River even goes farther than these metal deities by tying together the guitar work with the linear drumming. Ali’s vocals really start to break out of their shell during “Cash Out”, a track that really drives some down-deep primal sounding arrangements deep to the core of everyone listening in.

“This Room’s A Revolution” continues this primal sound with the sludgey, sinewy guitar lines that link metaphorical arms with the Lars Ulrich-like drumwork created at the end of the track. The restrained opening to “Dead Ends and U-Turns” seems odd this late in “Lights Out”; inserting a shrill guitar into the mix towards the ending section of the track gives a certain drive to the track that did not exist previously. Kicking back into high gear for “Hands In the Air”, Fall River begin to end a trek that has placed them all over the musical map, with mostly impressive results. “Lights Out” is a full album that shows Fall River as always human; the production, mastering and the band themselves all show some connection to the larger mass of humanity.

Top Tracks: DNA of a Liar, I’m Not A Big Fan Of Parentheses

Rating: 5.7/10

Fall River – Lights Out / 2005 Thorp / 10 Tracks / http://www.fallriverrock.com / http://www.thorprecords.com / Reviewed 21 November 2005

[JMcQ]

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