July 1, 2009

CD Review: Clawfinger - Life Will Kill You

When Clawfinger's 2007 release, Life Will Kill You, arrived on my doorstep some time ago I was intrigued by its simplistic, yet clever, cover. Designed to look like a parental advisory label, only instead of a warning, you get the band name and album title. It isn't a warning at all! Well, perhaps it is. In any case, the album is a bizarre one that caught me off guard, but in a good way. I think. I am so confused.

First off, I am a little embarrassed to admit I had not heard of these guys before, but feel I should have. I mean, the band did form back in the late 1980's and released their debut way back in 1993. Where was I? In any case, I popped this in expecting something hard, heavy, and in my face. There I go basing expectations on a band name. Needless to say, what greeted my ears was nothing like what i expected. Instead of something like The Haunting (which is what I think I was expecting), I got something that comes across as a mildly lackluster crossing of Faith No More, Fear Factory, Rammstein, and Bloodhound Gang. I know, that sounds like it should kick some ass, but doesn't. Well, maybe a little. Not really.

clawfingerHailing from Sweden, Clawfinger has been at this game a long time, and that being the case, they have a nice crisp sound that reeks of experience, almost to a fault. I admit to expecting a younger and rougher act, but this is not a complete disappointment. The flawlessly produced record shows the band gleefully, mostly, crossing industrial and rapcore into an easily accessible mix.

As solid and entertaining as this record is, I have to wonder if it is terribly relevant? I am sure the longtime fans will definitely feel it is relevant, if I were one of them, I would be right there with you. With that out of the way, and attempting to be objective, I do not see this band as being all that meaningful to the current scene. The sound seems to be something that went out of fashion in the 1990's, early this decade at the latest. The rap-metal thing has slipped out of fashion after the big labels milked the sound to death, having flooded the market with sound-alike carbon copies that never lived up to the originators.

Life Will Kill You does have a selection of god tunes, although the replayability seems to be a bit limited. As I listen to them, there is that feeling of the old school that permeates everything and sees to rob it of the edge I believe they were going for.

In the end, I am having a difficulty time justifying the desire/need to rip these guys or this album. In the end it would be a pointless battle, as the fans will get on me, the masses will ignore me, and in the end I would be doing everyone a disservice.

Let me put it this way, Life Will Kill You is not a necessary album. In the big picture it is not going to make a mark or be remembered. Still, the album is a very easy listen, has some definite grooves, and will likely get into your head so that you rock right along with it. I like it and find it hard not to recommend.

Bottomline. In your face grooves, catchy rap-style vocals, and it doesn't make you think all that hard. Put it in, press play, groove.



Post a Comment