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Monday, January 4, 2016

Review: Standing Ovation - Gravity Beats Nuclear


Their somewhat tongue-in-cheek bandname Standing Ovation describes the tone of their lyrics in places. But they are definitely not a band to laugh with; Gravity Beats Nuclear is chock-full of awesome riffs and blasts through your head, pummeling every bit of your auditive senses. They are maybe a tad over-enthousiastic, but it is nonetheless a very solid album by a band that will undoubtedly grow bigger yet.

The first thing that comes to mind when giving this album a spin is the dread “please no minute-long solo-wankery.” This is, after all, still the genre of the shoegazing guitarfanatics whose fingers are faster than their own brains can follow. Yet, it is not really so with Standing Ovation; truth be told, the solo’s are oft very technical yet largely uninspiring, but they don’t get in the way of solid riff-building and a very forward pushing drive to every song. More than once this is accomplished early on in the opening riff, of which hardly any on the album disappoint. They’re fat, in-your-face and growling, and set the stage for each song. It softens the annoyances that are definitely there on the album; the songwriting is, however not always meant seriously, a bit amateuristic and sometimes just not funny. Other times it unexpectedly expects you to take them seriously, which doesn’t work well in every song. The singing also doesn’t always fit the song; with soundwalls the likes of Between the Buried and Me or Devin Townsend the singing is a bit underwhelming, never really agressive enough to match the energy of the rest of the music. The solo’s do get in the way, sometimes. In a way it’s weird the riffs of the rhythm section are so spunky and fresh while the solo’s are rarely really interesting.

Songs to look out for are Permafrost and Fool’s Parade, where the negative is drowned out by the positive. An album not to leave lying, but not one to commit murder over. If that’s what you regularly do over metal-cd’s.

Written by Frank van Drunen

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