Cog is a heavy rock band with progressive elements from Sydney, Australia. They've been making a big name for themselves over the last 2 years with their live shows and their two EP's and single.
The band consists of:
Flynn Gower - Guitar/Vocals
Luke Gower - Bass/Backup Vocals
Luscius Borich - Drums/Backup Vocals/Bass on JV recordings
Just Visiting is a 2 ep set, it was written as an album, but without the funds to make one, they split it into two parts. Part 1 is a heavier, darker, more straightforward rocker, whereas Part 2 is generally softer, more progressive, and more like music to thinking to.
The tracks are just remasters of their home-recorded demo cd "Pseudo" along with some song shortenings to cut out what they thought was extraneous.
Their music got a lot of comparison to Tool, and rightly so, there is a definite Tool influence (even some almost-rip-offs) in there. Odd time signatures abound, for a reference - 4/4 appears in only 3 of the 10 songs.
The guitar work is rather different to most styles I've known. Strange semi-open tunings and chord shapes make up a lot of Flynn's playing, however it isn't that technical, just different. Things get strange when you try to add singing while playing... an appreciation for Flynn's concentration arises here, the polyrhythms this guy can bust out are fairly wild.
Bass playing on the cd's isn't anything to go crazy about, at least it isn't root noted, there's some interesting bits throughout, but they don't really stand out at all.
Drums... Luscius is easily the star musician of the band, he plays some fairly technical beats, probably more towards the Tool style of playing, but not as madcore as Danny.
The lyrics... well they seem a bit irrelevant, most are lines that don't seem to make all that much sense, repeated.
Moshiach is a great opener, both live and on cd. A deep, chuggy intro, complete with didgeridoo samples opens the way to thundering tribal rhythms, which carry the song for a while. Then a trippy ambient bit with a strange "solo". The tribal heaviness returns soon after, moving the song endward. I always imagined this song would feel just right on the sunset of a hot day.
Bondi is more simple, it's melodic and catchy. Though Flynn's guitar/singing (5 over 4) polyrhythms in this song are probably the trickiest to execute of all their songs. An easy listen and it would be an obvious choice for a single if they had one from here.
1010011010 - the binary of 666. A mechanical evil? A sample from 1984 about big brother opens this somewhat ambient and creepy song about privacy. It has some heavy bursts now and then, and it heavys up for the chorus. The lyrics are quite strange, "I'm holding on to your eyes"... ? It does mean something, I'm not going to say what, but it does make sense.
Moo just straight out rocks, not much more to say about this one without going into detail.
Holes is an even harder song, darker and deeper than the rest of the songs on part 1. Another strange guitar "solo". The song ends a bit abruptly.
1. Paris, Texas 4:18
2. Stretch 5:58
3. The Truth And Other Lies 5:13
4. Pseudo 5:22
5. Just Visiting 7:02
The first dense seconds of Paris, Texas is like a continuation of part 1, but the space is quickly left vacant for this deserty sounding song. The drumming here is a lot more than it seems, I only noticed it by seeing the song live. The lyrics hint on a hoplessly lost mind, and the music is quite lonely, until something clicks and whoever's mind it is has a complete turnaround.. you'll see
Stretch is more melodic, progressive... and kind of hard to compress the description into a few lines, so I won't. It's a good piece, and lots of people seem to like this song the best from the cds.
The Truth And Other Lies... well, so much of it sounds like The Patient by Tool. Carla Werner adds some nice operatic vocals, I don't know who she is, or anything about her, but she does what she does well. The sharp change from soft and quiet to loud and heavy parts in this song is pretty cool I think.
Pseudo is a bit of a mind bender, the strange musical combination in the intro. Stays light for the first half, then a second half that is more trippy than heavy. Good stuff.
Just Visiting, would my favourite song, maybe not on cd, but it really shines as a live song. It's kind of relaxing, but also very sad. It's theme may be of armageddon, the final moments of existence for everything, ever, and all the care and hope is gone. The cries of "I am waiting for you" are really sad, it's the like dying wish of someone, just to see a loved one for the last time. It's very emotional.
Well, my review up to this point is a collection of thoughts, observations and words thrown together with no particular structure, it's not really all that coherent. By doing this I probably haven't said much useful stuff at all.
I have done better reviews, I just wanted to talk about this cd. Personally, I think it works well split into the 2 ep's. It would have worked well if they had done it as a single album too, since that's how I listen to them.
anyway.. a quick recap:
Part 1 - harder and heavier, a good listen if you like a bit of darkness, coldness and non-standardness in with your rock. It's lacking something to bring it all together though.
Part 2 - musical twists and turns, easier on the ears, but more intense on the mind. I prefer this one as it's more interesting musically.
They have some interesting ideas, and I like the music quite a bit (the main thing for me, as with most songs), even if some did sound like Tool. The lyrics are generally abstract, and I suspect that some of them mean absolutely nothing at all...
So, overall.. 7.75/10 is probably a fair score for Just Visiting as a whole.
Recommended tracks - Moshiach, 1010011010, Stretch, Pseudo and Just Visiting. (Live versions of Just Visiting will probably be much better)
Very good review. I remember hearing a couple of Cog songs many months ago, when I was only a few months on MX, and not being particularly impressed, but I'll probably check them out a bit more thoroughly now.
Alright. I went and listened to all of the songs. I like them except for the singers voice. Sometimes it's really annoying in the Scott Stapp way and others it's really cool. Basically I hate it on Part I but love it on Part II. Part II really kicks the crap out of Part I IMHO. I'd buy a full album but not until I read a full review. I guess first they'd need to finish it.
[QUOTE=Bartender]On a completely unrelated note, blue, is your Soulseek name the same as it used to be?[/QUOTE]
yeah, same one (that's Blueser57 for anyone else interested) I just havent been on much lately because of uni work, but now thats almost done but for one exam.. hence me doing cd reviews again.
Cog are awesome, i love the songs Remain and Roll the Dice of No time at all. Saw em live at Big Day out, now that was an intense show.[/quote]
I've never heard of those songs, sure you have the right band?
[QUOTE=Sgt_Baker]Cog are awesome, i love the songs Remain and Roll the Dice of No time at all. Saw em live at Big Day out, now that was an intense show.[/QUOTE]
[QUOTE=blueyxd]I've never heard of those songs, sure you have the right band?[/QUOTE]
They aren't Cog songs. On p2p programs, there is a band called Course Of Nature who have stuff labelled as Cog. I think it was their original name or something. Anyway, they suck. I know this because my brother made the same mistake.
Also, I've been preferring the JV EP's to the album lately. :thumb:
For those who can be bothered I'm pretty sure you can download the whole of Just Visiting (Parts 1 and 2) off their website for free in one of the sections somewhere. I haven't really listened to this yet but I'll get around to it probably. Their full length album was pretty good though.