Mower – Not For You / 2006 Suburban Noize / 15 Tracks / http://www.mowermusic.com / http://www.suburbannoizerecords.com / Reviewed 01 June 2006
Mower plays a brand of hard rock that quite often goes into hardcore and metal veins. For those that did not know, they are intricately related to Kottonmouth Kings. Where KMK has put forth a very intense brand of rap down on their last few albums, Mower does nearly the same thing during their “Not For You”. The style that is presented during “Not For You” is something that could conceivably make its way to popular rock radio, but has at its core an ear for arrangements that never disappears. A track like “End” shows the band’s influences, especially those in the hair metal domain.
The band has much to do with acts like Motley Crue during that track, and shift that influence to that of a Flea-like bass line for the next track, “Look Away”. In fact, during “Look Away” the hair-metal style comes back seriously, and hints of something harder (Anthrax) make their first entrance to the disc. What results during “Not For You” is an album that goes through all the styles of hard rock that have been popular in the last twenty years. The band goes through a number of styles but does not make it feel as if they are blindly searching for a sound; there is a nucleus of commonality that is present throughout. Something that seemed present during earlier tracks is a Buckethead-like influence to the guitar work; it is only during songs like “General Admission” that this style comes to prominence. The diversity of the band allows the Buckethead sound of “General Admission” to disappear to something that resembles the sludge-metal of Corrosion of Conformity during “U Turn”.
Overall, Mower are where rock should go in the next few years. While there are nods to a number of popular styles, the band does not settle into any specific one. This means that “Not For You” is a full album, and one that does not press on the same style twelve times. Mower is not a band that worships at the altar of Disturbved, and individuals have to be happy that this is not the case. Here’s to hoping more bands take the Mower approach to things, and that Mower will continue on in creating rock music that is broadly approachable and interesting, without the band losing their own distinct sound. Surubran Noize really knew how to pick bands when they signed Mower.
Top Tracks: General Admission, U Turn