I used to use an AM/FM transmitter to play my iPod in my old car. Ironically, the station that came in the best happened to be an ultra Christrock station. When I would get out of my car, I would power down my iPod and the music would suddenly switch from Bolt Thrower to some open-armed, rock-for-Jesus, salvation trash heap.
It was pretty comical, but caused me to be more familiar with this unforgivable way of using distortion and traditional rock instruments than most.
Now, why does any of this matter? Geoffrÿche debuted the first song, “Cold” off of their new album, Frequency Unknown. It sounds like the anal birth product of a midtempo All That Remains song with some heavy, rays-of-light-poking-through-the-clouds Christrock thrown into the mix.
The first thing to stick out is the generic guitar tone. The band obviously hit the studio for a whirlwind session to ensure Tate and his traveling circus would be the first Queensryche to release their new album after the split with the waning singer/rising saxaphonist.
What’s more important is what the guitars are playing. This sounds like your standard radio rock song, and that isn’t a compliment. The one redeeming part of this song is the solo, which shoots more fire than any fast-fretted section of a Queensrÿche song over the last 20 years.
We can’t be sure who lent their fury to this due to the wealth of used-to-be wealthy guests on this album. One thing I can be sure of though, is that this solo is probably not performed by whatever dude from Y&T guested on this album.
Onto the best part — the vocals! Tate used to be a lyrical genius and one of the best heavy metal singers there ever was. Now, we’re stuck with a blown-out voice and lines like “What you’re saying don’t make sense.”
Did he really use improper grammar when stating something doesn’t make sense? God damnit, Geoff — get it together! One funny aspect of this song is how Tate pretends to shiver when he says the word “cold.” There’s plenty of cliché lines on parade here, so put down your lyric booklet to any of the last three Megadave albums and check out “Cold.”
I expect the songwriting to be slightly more diverse on the rest of FU and I’m sure the label is playing it close to the vest (heh) and chose the safest, and, unfortunately, one of the better songs off the album. While this song is better than anything off Dedicated to Chaos that isn’t saying much. It’s sort of like asking if you’d rather die in a fire or by drowning.
Frequency Unknown is in stores April 23.
Keep coming back here for more as this heavy metal soap opera rolls on.
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