With so many bands out there, pushing the envelope on music in one way or another, why is it that radio seems to latch on to these four-chord bands that blend into the bland mix that seems to pump through the FM? Operator, while able to step up front somewhat with Chris-Cornell-like vocals, still doesn't make much of an interesting listen. It is enough to satisfy the average nu-metal/hard rock fan and will give them a reason to headbang mindlessly (as I like to do) but can I at least gain some depth in the song? If this music is to be categorized, it seems to resemble the "sleaze rock" or "stripper rock" of Motley Crue or Buckcherry. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing is up to the individual.
Slightly intrigued by their fist-pumping single, "Soulcrusher," I picked it up not expecting much except some decent background noise. While songs like "Soulcrusher" and "Live Your Way" are plagued by lyrical gems like "Soulcrusher/No other/Soulcrusher/Don't give a f***!" and "Nothing pays off for p***y motherf***ers!" It comes off childish and overwhelmingly laughable instead of how it could be strongly delivered : look at AC/DC for how bad lyrics won't necessarily sink the song. Luckily, they can produce some heavy and very catchy D-tuned riffs that keep most of these songs afloat.
Still these guitars feel anxious and impatient, desiring to branch out more often, like the open solo at the end of "What You Get." When there is the occasional guitar solo, they definitely work. One can't help but wish they pulled out more of them to bring life to overly-repetitive and obnoxious songs like "The Only One." They show that they work best when they harmonize and tone it down into what could be high-school-dance ballads such as "Delicate" and the guilty-pleasure "Black Cloud." His voice sometimes tilters between wonderfully melodic and horribly nasal over the chord-picked progressions. Luckily, he seems to catch himself before falling too far into the wince-inducing side of his vocals and when he does, the vocals are pretty damn powerful.
It is an average-active-radio-rock-record and these guys probably know it. Heck, that's probably what they were going for. The album reaches strong points sporadically and produces ballads that keep enough distance from cheesy to be appealing. The riffs are an attractive factor and the vocals are better then most of the active-rock-radio out there. If you're looking for some noise to listen to on a road trip or you have a stripper pole in your basement, this is a good choice. You might as well take a listen.
Make 'Em Pay
Burn Up The Road