The Letters Organize – Dead Rhythm Machine (CD)

Totally not what I would expect from Nitro Records, The Letters Organize play a band of hardcore-emo that is reminiscent of Refused and Converge. The riffs that lead the band are brash and seem to look back to late-nineties metal, most noticeably Clutch. To My Surprise influences Brent Jay’s vocals, and in such the band’s focus is pretty solid, even to the point of really limiting the different styles that one can hear on “Dead Rhythm Machine”. However, there are some pretty exciting and driving sections that one finds on “Dead Rhythm Machine”, especially the earth-shaking, bowel-quaking drumming of Donnie on tracks like “I Want I Want”. The guitar noodling that opens up “They Call It Rock N Roll” really comes through strong on this disc, angering up the blood before Brent’s vocals really make the track par for the course.

Tracks end before they really even start, with the average tracklength only being about two and a half minutes. I feel that this is for the best, as a great number of The Letters Organize’s tracks really tend to stale even with these short lengths – just not enough in the way of differing riffs, beats, or solos are present on this disc to make tracks sound different from each other. Less than thirty minutes go by from beginning to end, and yet this disc feels twice as long because everything that The Letters Organize does differently on the disc can really be heard during “Dressed Up in Gatwick”. The driving rhythms of a track like those found on the opening strains of “Perfection?” indicate a direction that The Letters Organize should go, but just as quickly as they can get a head-nodding rhythm started, the Jet/Hives-esque vocals of Brent again go south, only exacerbated by the chaotic guitars and formulaic drums found on the rest of the track.

The Letters Organize have a solid mastering on “Dead Rhythm Machine”, as well as usually-solid instrumentation, but really suffer when it comes to arrangements and differing approaches to their tracks. The band has not been around for an incredible amount of time (being founded in January of 2002), so perhaps their next album will be able to capture an audience largely lost by repetitive music and an unimaginative approach to vocals. Give these kids time, though – its only proper to give a band a few full-lengths before they really settle into their own groove.

Top Track: A Book For Dummies

Rating: 4.3/10

The Letters Organize – Dead Rhythm Machine / 2005 Nitro / 13 Tracks / / / Reviewed 27 March 2005

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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