Rush and Dream Theatre immediately mix with Weezer to create a current yet aged sound. This “aged” factor, pretty much a reinventing of the shoegazer genre of the mid-nineties, is strengthened through the omnipresent bass by Chad Molter on tracks like “Safe and Sorry”. “Safe and Sorry” benefits from a highly technical guitar arrangement that also recalls the best of sixties rocks like The Kinks. Devin’s vocals, best described as a mix between Maynard (Tool) and Rivers Cuomo (Weezer) add yet another layer of solid musicianship to the mix. Not quiet as out-there and experimental as a band like Upsilon Acrux, Medications is by no means a rote, play-by-the-numbers type of rock band. Incorporating a ska vibe during “Exercise Your Futility”, Medications bring back the almost-spoken vocals of a Dag Nasty or Nation of Ulysses (to geographically and chronologically tie together a scene). “Exercise Your Futility” also is related to the track “No One Knows”, by Queens of the Stone Age, in terms of tempo and guitar progressions.
What is by far the most exciting fact about Medications is that they assault the ears of every listener with the same amount of cohesiveness, regardless of how different the track is from the body of this self-titled EP. Each second practically has all members of this trio contributing in some meaningful way. This is evidenced by the density of the average track on the EP – while the tracks are pretty much longer than normal, the disc still feels as if it is a full-length CD. “Domestic Animals” extended instrumental interlude further shows the virtuosity of Medications; the soaring voice of Devin is dropped away and yet audiences will still marvel at the technical victories of the band. Ending “Animals” with an extended array of percussion and janglies, the question becomes whether individuals can actually cut a rug to Medications music?
In fact, the answer to the question is an emphatic “Yes!” with one of the strong points brought to the table by Medications being that cross-genre allure that was always present in such musical giants as The Doors, of which I can hear a lot of in this EP. Besides being cross-genre, Medications straddles the line between pop success and musical excellence: like John Travolta in Urban Cowboy, they can look fashionable even while they ride the mechanical bull. Medications’ first full-length will be an interesting beast, as I would like to see how well they could work around a full disc’s space.
Top Track: Reconcile Awake
Medications – Self/Titled EP / 2004 Dischord / 5 Tracks / http://www.medicationsrock.com / http://www.dischord.com / Reviewed 02 February 2005