The crunch of hard rock that hits listeners during “Mass Denial, Massive Guilt” seems to be much more in the vein of late nineties rock, but when the vocals kick in, something that is much more close to At The Drive-In is created. The vocals do hit a Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters) style at point, but for the vast majority of “Mass Denial, Massive Guilt”, the At The Drive-In comparison works. The fuzz is still present for “Blaue Augen”, but Lower Forty-Eight have allowed themselves over six minutes to work with. This means that there is much more of an opening to this track. The temper of the track is able to develop, instead of the band throwing listeners right into the song.
When Lower Forty-Eight move into the meat of the track, the results are something that moves even further from the somewhat metal-oriented opening of “Apertures”. In this track, the band is able to blend together the harder and lighter sections of rock to create something that seems like a blend of Tool and Queens of the Stone Age. Of particular note during this track has to be the interplay between the drums and the guitars, something that increases in intensity and intricacy throughout the extended runtime of the track. The next track on “Apertures” is “Afterlife”, and this track moves Lower Forty-Eight’s sound to something that is closer to more of the melodic hardcore that is on the market.
This style gives up ground during “Desperate Signs”, a much more brutal track than has been noticed before on the album. There is always a certain friendliness present in the band’s compositions, regardless of how intense or rough the band may get. Another thread present in Lower Forty-Eight’s music has to be the band’s love of progressive rock. During the disc’s longer tracks (“Blaue Augen”, “Desperate Signs”), the band’s love for this genre is shown much more clearly. Lower Forty-Eight is a band that tries to reinvent what it is to be hard rock, and moves away from acts like 10 Years and Disturbed while doing that. The band does not completely divorce themselves from this paradigm, but their incorporation of a whole bevy of different styles is where the band gains the greatest ground on other acts that may have more fame than Lower Forty-Eight. If you are a fan of the style, make it a point to pick up this disc.
Top Tracks: Seventh Sight, Afterlife
Lower Forty-Eight – Apertures / 2006 Monotreme / 10 Tracks / http://www.lowerforty-eight.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 27 October 2006