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September 25, 2017


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Iodine
Baby Grand (Sol 3 Records/Never Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Nashville is well known for their 'country' artists, but what about their rock side? If Iodine is any indication of what is going on then Nashville has some loud rock pouring out of its reign. Blending a hard-edged rock sound with rough vocals and a pop twist, Iodine is able to sting you while making you sing with them.

Beginning with some very powerful, catchy rock 'n' roll, "Swan Dive" is the perfect mix of rough vocals, pop hooks, and raw control to kick this album off with a bang. Enough drums to echo in your head for weeks, the cymbals ping around in your mind while the sticks crush down on them and bring the metallic sound to life. The guitars twist and turn, jumping from power chords to sizzling guitar leads. Throw in some juicy bass licks, and you have a lot going on. The music itself is hard-eged pop, but bringing in the vocals, all roughed up and full of smoke, the song takes on even a harder edge. Even when the song flows over a soft spot never the end, the vocals still keep it edgy. The song is a well-crafted mix of the best of pop, while also bringing enough muscle into the song to make you just want to pound along with it. Following with "Sons Of Belial," the tambourine helps shake things up while adding a more textured pop clarity to the song. But they never lose touch of their angst-side, always quick to hit you head first with some rock that will knock you on your ass. Putting a spin on the lyrics, the gruffy vocals take a simple line like "That's perfectly not quite all right" and add even more contempt to the picture. "Monkey Disease" finds the band in a more rock-punk setting, banging out the jams with punk energy and a 70's bar-rock-anthem behind it. A quick, minute and forty-two second track, it puts you at the edge of your seat while it flies right past you. Never taking a break to rest, the drums work overtime, while the bass and guitars try to pick up the pace as well and churn out some faster riffs. The vocals are the only thing that don't really increase in speed, although they do get more intense and begin to shout a bit more. "Ten Seconds" seems a bit too messy. The drums, although very nice, seem to overpower the song with their over use of cymbals (that's something I never thought I'd say). As time elapses, the song does get better, but the first minute already kicked it. "Liar" allows the band a chance to get softer for a moment. The song begins as though it is going to gentle, and then the distortion and thick guitars take over. From there the song is blown. All the distortion ruins the song, and the tremendous fuzz throughout the song is nothing more than a cloudy array of smoke that blinds the listener from what is really going on. Ending with "Lily," the band finishes off with a clean, soft number that serves as a gentle close to the usual thick, head-on rock explosion you will find throughout the rest of the album. Although it takes too long to get to the real action, once the song does, it is decent.

I don't know what happened, the album started off with a bang. After the first two tracks blew me away, I was sold on the album. Then I listened to the rest of it, and the deeper I got into it, the more I lost interest. There was a few scattered tracks here and there that were good, but after track four or five the album really starts to slump. I'll give this disc a B.

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