Author: Gay For Gary Oldman
Album: Submerge EP (2016)
Genre: Alt-Rock/Djent/Groove Metal
Back in 2004 as a high schooler, I attended some of my first local shows. At the time the local scene of South Australia was mostly torn between a few up and coming groove-metalcore bands who would go on to open for every international act for the next decade, and the old vanguard of a select few bands still clinging and adapting the last gasps of nu-metal. With bands like Mudvayne, Slipknot and Mushroomhead as the template, they began pushing out into slightly more experimental music using odd time signatures, ambience and synths. Whilst it was fun in a live setting, it wasn’t something you’d bother picking up the CD for. I haven’t done any research on the popularity of Stabbed, but with 500 views as their top viewing Youtube hit, I’m gonna go ahead and say they’re pretty indie, and their EP should be judged as such.
Crashing open with a pummeling and groovy rhythm, the band offer a solid and convincing start to the EP, but when the verse croons in I feel that I’ve been pulled back a decade in time, to the tail end of the nu-metal phenomenon. A time when metalcore bands like 36 Crazyfists were offering up more melodic songs to fit into the ‘Alternative Metal’ category, making them eligible to be featured on the Resident Evil: Apocalypse soundtrack. The slightly off-time, down-tuned chugging towards the end sounds less like modern djent and more like Soulfly is about to feature Wayne Static. To the band’s credit, it totally works, if you’re willing to risk the nostalgia for such a thing.
After a fairly bland attempt at a mid-naughties Poison the Well verse, the chorus of second track Creed ends up sounding more like an early Deftones track, but unlike opener Ruins, I ain’t feelin’ the love. But by the time the chorus of Last Stand comes round, I’m primarily left feeling that the slightly off-key singing is only a little less charming that it was when Glassjaw did it in 2001.
In case you’ve failed the notice the pattern here, the band’s music differs significantly from their advertisement on Bandcamp. “Dynamic shifts, complex riffs with some post-rock ambience.” Look. There can be stuff to like here, if you’re willing to pull out your old Mudvayne hoodie and reminisce on the times when the bassist seemed like an unassailable math wizard, and Thursday offered the most introspective minimalist clean passages this side of Emery. But lads, if you Google this review, kindly cut the nonsense. This stuff barely passed as cutting edge of mainstream alt-metal in the early 2000s. For better or worse, the djent-wave has washed away any preconceptions that straying from 4/4 and a single guitar tone indicates being progressive. Best of luck.
- Gary for Gary Oldman
Check them out here: https://stabbed.bandcamp.com/