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February 24, 2024

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Transform (Dreamworks Records)

By: Vinnie Apicella

Went into this disc not expecting much, maybe a clever outerworldly single release or another solid cut here or there, and I couldn't have been more wrong. Instead, "Transform" comes away with an impressive display of heavy groove powered by Punk Rock unrest, justifiably "regressing" back to the roots of the band, nearly ten years back. The album's a breath of freshness to a fucked up world of fixed in place animators fearful of free thought and satisfied to rank in an uneventful procession of prototypes disguised as players who feign interest at writing and recording to their own standard. This new album, thus, could've been called "Kill Switch for Commerce" easily as its formerly placed "Anyone For Doomsday" two years and two members ago-- as easily as it strides forward and "Transforms" as it exists today. Since "Tonight The Stars Revolt" in 2001, the band scrapped, then revamped their line up and sound, following the original blueprint and taking a more direct route to arrive at the end result -- defy expectation and rely on your instinct. The spotlight shines forcefully at the plasticity of the music industry and jabs the point in the ribs of dollar-driven decision maker types and die-hard listeners befriended only by self-doubt. Right away the tunes blow off steam from note one, a distinct difference from their sci-fi based, FX-bloated past work that had its moments but ultimately achieved more flash than fire. "Transform" has more staying power than anything they've done to date. Pounding riffs and hi-powered verses set a rugged pace for Spider's liberated lyricism supported by an ace production job that's dead on heavy, loud, and multi-lateral. Tracks like "Theme To Fake A Revolution," "Free," and "Top Of The World", all three top level album choices, storm the gates of complacency and corporate construct with a fiercely combative yet instructionally sound concept of how to avoid our prewritten destiny by avoidance, intuition, and confusion. The biggest impress here is the five member interaction, coming together often like a football squad behind the instruments, attacking quickly and often with ambition and ability, notably present in the dual guitar grip and drumming. "Transform" is a drink stirring straw of an album designed to engage the public without the undercutting effects of pro tools enhancement and rock star pomposity. Consider comparisons to Rob Zombie, Warrior Soul, Marilyn Manson, and "Amp"-era Grip Inc.
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