283 – S/T


First of all, I’m going to declare the first thing I noticed after listening to 283’s CD. This band would probably be killer live and is one of those bands who lose intensity in the studio. If this band doesn’t play these songs at lightspeed live, while jumping off every amp in sight, and just emptying every breathe of air in their lungs shouting the vocals, well, they wont do their promise justice.

Taking a few cues from Fugazi’s vocally-declarative bass-driven with accentive guitarwork technique and giving it a slightly harder edge, 283 hasn’t necessarily created their own style, but the band has given a well-paved path some needed new blood.

The opening track, “Slow Motion Picture,” honestly isn’t a very good opener. It doesn’t show the band’s strengths right off the bat. In fact, the first couple tracks aren’t very strong; it’s around the midpoint of the CD where things get into full swing with tracks like “Where We stand” and “I Got Caught Playing Dead.” But from there on out it keeps a nice pace, switching things up quite a bit and keeping the rock ‘n roll flowing like wine.

Lyrically, the album is pretty good: simple and direct. This is probably deliberate to provoke audience sing-a-longs, err shout-a-longs. The entire lyrics for “Not Enough to Die For” are as follows: “Built to fall and we’re not sorry. This foundation is not to blame for this structure. This is not enough for us to die for.” Most of the CD follows a very declarative shouted vocal style with almost no melody to it all, which is sort of a mixed blessing. My biggest offer of criticism is that the backing vocals should not double the lead vocals on every word of every song. It gives it strength, but the trick is used up halfway through the CD. Shouted vocals can be backed by a melody and still have strength. But something tells me these guys are instrumentalists, not singers.

All and all, this is a rather good CD that should draw attention to their hopefully-great-live-shows. If you like Fugazi, you’d probably really dig this. If you like any of those new screamy frantic bands like The Blood Brothers or Transistor Transistor, you should probably enjoy this too if you give it a chance.