Putrid - _Neck_
(Independent, 1997)
by: Alain M. Gaudrault (6 out of 10)
My first reaction was not a good one. Guitarist Martin's fuzzy, overdriven guitars, applied to staccato hardcore-lovin' riffs, did nothing to bolster the music's impact on a first-time listener. The lack of punch in the delivery is unfortunate, as it only serves to accentuate how the songs don't quite seem to go anywhere at times, although some people are into that, I suspect. Upon repeated listenings, though, I grew to mildly appreciate the combination of heavy hardcore leanings throughout with metal tendencies and alterna-rock familiarities. Putrid make use of several tempo/mood changes in each of their songs, which explains the lengthy 4- and 5-minute tracks (by hardcore standards, that is). The stuff on this CD is fairly original to my ears; then again, I'm not big into the new breed of hardcore metallers, but this sounds rather varied and experimental, both in the use of instruments and vocal arrangements. The bellowed, hardcore-ish lead vocals (only mildly annoying most times) are complemented by some guy's interjections, often sounding like an ultra-melllowww Mike Muir. Vocalist Sylvain's tone, while mostly gruff, seems to lack depth, and quickly starts being 'the instrument you put up with.' With packaging devoid of lyrics and a flat production, Putrid's themes can be tough to discern, but hardcore-nudgin' titles like "Stateless", "Mousetrap", and "Worse, Work, Wreck" pretty much give it away. Serge puts in an impressive performance on drums, maintaining a solid beat without becoming overly repetitive; lots of juicy, interesting fills and segues to be found. Bass, on the other hand, is hardly audible, and seems mostly to follow the guitar lines, but it's difficult to tell; at first, I thought one of the fuzzy guitar sounds was actually a bass, which would explain the presence of more than one guitar sound with only a single guitarist in the band, but if I strain, I can hear the occasional off-rhythm clean plunking of bass strings. In the end, I'm left sort of lukewarm about this independent production. As a puzzling aside, I must note that the last track, "Seasons", is followed by a minute+ of silence: error, or fruity symbolism?

(article published 14/9/1997)

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