Hey, it’s Disturbed and Korn, having a party. And lets see, they invited their screamo cousin to the party. Everything that is churned up on “The Hollow Men” is essentially, note for note, the same that can be heard on thousands of new-rock stations owned by Clearchannel, and while there are times where Rubikon find themselves in a groove, the fact is that this music isn’t incredibly innovative. I’m sure that is what Rubikon was looking for on this disc, as the mastering is perfect, Duke’s double bass blazing through the entire disc (and most noticeably on “3 Months Left”). Unfortunately through the band, the guitar lines and drum beats that are standard fare on the disc are virtually copied with each subsequent track, Jae’s vocals so inoffensive they could be inserted into any track. There is no doubting the musical ability of Rubikon, but “The Hollow Men” shows that the band needs desperately to come up with a better process of creation, as there is one original on “The Hollow Men” – and twelve remixes.
Tom Baker’s mastering is definitely one of the stronger suits on “The Hollow Men”, and was absolutely necessary in crafting one specific identity for this disc. Without hearing the previous releases by Rubikon, one has to wonder whether Tom didn’t mold the band too much into the image that ey or Category 5 wished to promote with this album. The repetition of “The Hollow Men” makes for an incredibly long disc. I looked down at my CD’s display and was shocked to see that it was only on track 7 – a mere half of the way through. This will no doubt sell to those individuals who are making bands like Papa Roach, Breaking Benjamin, and Shinedown, as it is THE SAME THING as those bands. At least “The Hollow Men” has strong instrumentation, as the only way this could possibly be less enjoyable was if, like Ditchwater, Rubikon couldn’t play.
I commend Rubikon on one thing, and one thing only – they have made a product that will proceed to be snapped up like hotcakes if news of the disc ever reaches the right ears. For the average individual into the post-Metallica new rock that has been popular over the last half-decade, Rubikon will be an exciting new band. For those individuals into anything else, Rubikon is beyond intolerable, they are indistinguishable from anything out in that same market.
Top Tracks: None
Rubikon – The Hollow Men / 13 Tracks / http://www.rubikonmusic.com / firstname.lastname@example.org / Reviewed 18 January 2004 /