Growing up, like many of my fellow jackasses, I was a huge fan of the antics portrayed in the CKY videos and, subsequently, its cable distributed successor. I was enamored with not only the humor, but the underlying sense of anti-establishment. However, my biggest criticism of those videos always came down to the soundtrack, which, aside from the titular band, rarely held any quality music. Why do I bring this up, you may ask? Because I was reminded of said soundtracks while reviewing Vacant Face, the new album from TAKE OVER AND DESTROY, which will be released August 19 through Comfort Point Records. After a few spins, it’s easy to say that this group is Bam’s wet dream, deserving a spot in one of his visual collages, nestled right between H.I.M. and whatever other obscure Goth-rock group he drools over this week.
Anecdotes and metaphors aside, this record played out as a huge disappointment that, save for a few interesting musical passages, lacks overall depth. Vacant Face’s opening title track features a very epic into, filled with eerie guitar harmonies, but after the first minute and twenty seconds, the cloud is ripped out from under your feet, and the true nature of the LP emerges. The ultimate low point is when frontman Andrew Leemont attempts clean vocals. Whether he is singing or talking dramatically still escapes me. But in an effort to describe it, I can only think to reference how catholic priests melodically speak to add emphasis to their Sunday sermon fairy tales. Surely the rest of the album has to move upwards on a path of ascension, right? Unfortunately, it doesn’t; with the exception of instrumental track “The Fly Is Awake”, the remainder of TOAD’S latest offering is piss-poor at best, spewing lackluster riffs, generic screams and more of that dreadful sing/talking thing.
Without getting into a long diatribe about my personal feelings, I will concede to the idea that since I don’t fancy Goth-rock, I may be a trifle biased in rating this so poorly. Regardless of my taste in metal, I found Vacant Face to be just as bland and emotionless as its name suggests. Devoid of any risks or accomplishments, this idle record is not one that I would press anyone to run out for. But, once again, being the first to admit that I may be wrong, although I rarely ever am, I will leave the verdict up to the reader. And should you be of the disposition to enjoy such insipid drivel, please purchase their record because I surely will not.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “The Fly Is Awake”, first 1:20 of “Vacant Face”
WRITTEN BY FRENCH CHEESE