Dave Nadolski – Vocals
Matt Nadolski – Guitar
Brandon Sidebottom – Guitar
Kenn Davis – Bass
Lee Padgett – Drums
From the official website; For the past five years, the members of Under the Flood have faced an uphill struggle amidst the radical changes of the music business. Despite these circumstances, the band has remained dedicated to the craft of delivering the same empowering sounds that have connected them to their listeners from the beginning. Driven and inspired by the difficulties of life in the industry, Under the Flood continues to move forward more determined than ever.
In Vain – As the album opens, immediately we’re reminded of that wonderful period of the later parts of Tool into A Perfect Circle. The melodies are spot on with Maynard’s signature style and I definitely have to say that’s quite an impressive feat. The song matter is classic love-gone-wrong stuff, but the wording and lyrics create that vibe under a more mature pretense. These aren’t a 14 year old’s lyrics we’re talking about. The guitars sound amazing; thick and crunchy, not choppy or over compressed like many other modern heavy bands. The solo could have been stronger but it fits and it was certainly interesting to hear such a song have a slide guitar being featured.
The Witness – Another Perfect Circle influenced track. Again, this is a good thing people. We LIKE familiarity, BUT there is enough of their own vibe to keep them from being carbon copies. I will admit, I’m not a fan of the guitar sound (up until around the pre-choruses) in this particular track, and the overall mix is a little ‘squashed’ to nail that radio ready sound. The cymbals just kind of sizzle a little too bright for my ears, but we get a very solid track to enjoy and one that does not linger past its prime, it grabs you and lets you go, just the way I love it.
Open Me Up – I dig the verse riff to this song, it’s just weighty and thick and the beat is what I like to call ‘outside’. Man, that reminds me…. does anyone wanna buy me a Bogner Ecstasy 101b?!? Maybe I can get great guitar tones like this too. Kidding aside (unless of course you actually can give me such a wonderful present!), Open Me Up is the consummate rock style this era, it rides a fine line of being accessible enough for the masses but with enough street credibility to keep us from choking on our vomit, like bands such as Nickelback, who consistently continue to make us hurl with their sappy, wanna-be rocker posture. Ahem, posering…
Remedy – Under The Flood decides to get a little more sweet and atmospheric in this track. There’s an amalgam of A Perfect Circle and Incubus presented here; showcasing the clean guitar arpeggios, trails of delay, tight harmonies, and one kickass breakdown. I absolutely fucking love that guitar tone! The only bad part of this song is that before the chorus kicks in there is a slight drag in the beat, but hardly noticeable unless you’re a nit picky bastard like myself. Awesome song though
Blow Away – ‘Oh Hell Yeah’ is probably what comes to mind at the start of ‘Blow Away’..again, a guitar tone that CRUSHES articulately, a method-to-the-madness type of destruction. But that’s not the only thing holding up this track; it’s the melody, and the inflection of the vocals that has a slight Frankie Goes To Hollywood vibrato, the swaying feeling, the big, thundering drums bashing away. They pretty much did everything right.
Halos – Here’s where the bass guitar and bass drums are first and front in my mind so far, they are married to each other, that fat meaty chunk meshes well with the clean lines of the guitar. The vocals are a little far at times, but the melody is exactly what the song calls for. I think maybe there could have been a little more growl in some parts, just to take the listener to a new plateau of intensity.
Stranded – I love the Lyrics of this track, its almost like a prayer to call out the unfaithful and insidious. The chorus has a little bit of strain, but its definitely one of my favorites of the album with the way it counterpoints the guitars. The vocals move one way and the band moves to somewhat of an opposite that creates a color unheard at this point in the album, until now.
Signs – This is probably the ‘weakest’ track of the album, and that’s not saying much among many of the songs being perfect examples of what a band sounds like when they have their shit together. I guess when it comes down to it, I just can’t get into the megaphone vocal thing. It’s overused. The breakdown/bride section before the final chorus of the song displays a dissonance that would appeal to some of the hardcore guys. That’s actually the part I keep rewinding to even though I hate hardcore…
Endless – Here’s the lighters blazing, crowd-cuddling ballad. Lyrically it’s a great song, I just don’t necessarily dig ballads. Vocally, we’re treated to someone who is willing to take the extra step for us, to show us true emotion and reach down into the depths to pull out everything that was held back earlier in the album. He goes for it, and I say, “fuck yes”. It would’ve been cool to hear some extra instrumentation though, but that my only issue.
The Bottom – This positively has my favorite guitar tone of the CD, without a doubt, the heavy heavy crunch crunch is killing me!! I want to pick up my guitar and fucking jam to this track. It’s actually a good thing it started off a little slow in the beginning to build to a crescendo. I always thought that’s how the last song on an album should be showcased as.