Darwin's Waiting Room - _Orphan_
(MCA Records, 2001)
by: Aaron McKay (2 out of 10)
This band's bio sheet reads like a politician's press release -- putting forth a lot of overly ambiguous language poked through with holes of misrepresentation. Given some experience in reading current event editorials and political statements, I can clearly see all the nebulous terminology surrounding Darwin's Waiting Room. Without systematically pointing out the shortcomings associated with this band, I'll just cover the highlights 'cause this review needs to be more about the music than anything else. I am told that MTV called this band "rock's secret gem". With the exception of what MTV did raise the level of awareness for Chuck Schuldiner's medical condition, I can't remember when I gave a flying fuck what Kurt Loder or any of those thick, beatle-headed cretins had to say about music. I am reminded here of seeing Nevermore's front man, Warrel Dane, live in concert legitimately touting the conviction that "MTV SUCKS!". The bio promotes Darwin's Waiting Room as "unclassifiable", but goes on to call them a "pulsing fusion of hip-hop rhymes, monster grooves, crunching riffs and moments of stark melody". That sounds like a pretty fair portraiture to me for an "unclassifiable" outfit. Just to stroke ruffled feathers out there, that pervious commentary directly relates to Darwin's Waiting Room's sound, too, in case some among us think I am not devoting the necessary time to critiquing the music. Furthermore, -musically-, I hear arresting similarities to a band demo I reviewed a -long- time ago called Tendonitis [CoC #33]. Of course Tendonitis incorporates no lyrics, but the groove, texture and sound are so arguably uniform to what I hear on _Orphan_. While the lyrical message takes great strides to give off the impression of progressivism, in all actuality, they amount to double rapping, hyped-up radio fustian blatherskite. "Live for the Moment", simply for one quick example, feeds the listener an incredible line of bullshit saying that you can't change who you are and you should never reflect on your past. In addition to a whole host of historians and an innumerable plethora of civic leaders -- not to mention most people's parents --, this message is not only inaccurate, but grievous and sorry. The rationalization taken by the group in the bio regarding this track is infinitely more intelligible, but how it is communicated to the listener in the song itself is -so- dense that light bends around it. The two points I gave _Orphan_ come from tracks one and three, "Feel So Stupid (Table-9)" and "Sometimes it Happens Like This", respectively. Again, with my exception to the lyrics and hip-hop vocal drivel, the Burton C. Bell singing approach is impressive on "Feel So Stupid" and the beats on both songs are notably infectious. In my opinion, DWR needs to target their energy into the bullseye exposed by these two choice cuts. This band claims to be ever-changing; I'll wait for the next cycle in their evolution.

(article published 12/8/2001)

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