Cog
The New Normal


4.5
superb

Review

by Dr. Jake Destructo USER (5 Reviews)
July 23rd, 2005 | 101 replies | 16,300 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


6 of 6 thought this review was well written

Cog-The New Normal
Release date: 4-12-05
Band site: http://www.cog.com.au/cog.html

Band History

Cog is a three-peice progressive rock band from Bondi, Sydney, Australia. The group is comprised of Flynn Gower,(Guitars, vocals) Luke Cower(Bass guitar, backup vocals) and Lucius Borich(Drums, sampling, backup vocals). The band started in 1998, when Flynn and Lucious started writing some songs. Later on that year, Luke Gower joined them to bring in the bottom end of their sound. They started playing as many gigs as they could possibly handle, and in 2001, Trading Post Booking Agency added Cog to their touring roster. Later on that year, they recorded Just Visiting EPs, a 2 part record. The also released Open Up, a single. In 2004, they started writing their most succesful piece to date, The New Normal. The album was then released on April 12, 2005, and have been touring Australia to promote this piece.

The New Normal

Real Life[5:56]- The first track starts off with a quiet guitar intro, with some interesting sampling to start off the song. Then, the song jumps in full blast, Flynn's powerful vocal presence sets the tone for the album. The thing I like about this track being the first track on the album is that it shows you right off the bat what Cog is all about. If I were to reccomend someone a song to listen to if they wanted to get a good dose of what Cog sounds like, Real Life would definitely be the one I would choose. At around the 3:30 mark, Flynn starts into a very emotional solo, and from there, the song crescendos up to it's previous heavy state. The song ends Lucious playing a unique snare bass and hi-hat combination, then to a desonant choir chant.

Anarchy OK[6:24]: This track is quite a bit darker than the first. It starts off a bit slower, yet it picks up during the verse with some more interesting samples created by Lucious. Also, the verse is the first time Luke Cower's presense on bass guitar is shown, with some distortion and delay, he displays his talents quite well. Other than that, I wouldn't consider this song to be one of my favorites.

Silence is Violence[7:41]: In case you haven't noticed by now, Cog's songs are quite a bit longer than your average radio-rock 3 and a half minute songs, which can be a great thing, or in the case of this song, not so great. There are defininitely high points, and some fairly low points in this song. The verse is great featuring a very cool guitar/bass combination, but the chorus section of the song really isn't up to par.

Resonate[4:33]: During the intro, Flynn does a nice 2 part harmony part, but I find this song to be rather monotonous, but at the 2:00 mark, the song picks up a bit with some more disorted bass tones. Then, the song ends just as it started, with some more 2 part harmony work by Flynn.

The Spine[7:10]: My favorite part of this song is the introduction monologue spoken by Flynn. After that, this is probably the song where Lucious Borich gets to display his drumming talents the most. He uses quite a bit of tribal drum sequences to create a very forboding atmosphere throughout the song.

My Enemy[3:35]: The shortest song on the album, and also incidentally the albums first single. I can see why it was chosen as the first single, everything about the song is just catchy. The bass line, the drumming, and of course the guitar work combine to create the perfect "rock band trying to get their name out" track. The chorus is the part that stands out for me. The outro displays a little bit of the bands more complex side, with an off-beat time signature. Overall, I'd rank this song as one of the better tracks.

Run[5:10]: This track makes me think every time I hear it. To this day, I've not decided if the first bassline is actually a bass, or just more sampling provided by Lucious. Either way, it is another interesting element added to the song. Coupled with the 3 layers of vocals throughout some parts of the song make it again, one of my favorite Cog tracks. The thing that I especially like about this song is how you can never predict where it's going next, whether it be a heavy chorus, a soft interlude, or just to the next track. Cog always seems to keep me on my toes.

The River Song[7:41]: The River Song is typically revered as one of Cog's best songs, but it never really has clicked with me. It's a good track still, but there really isn't much to it. Over a minute and a half of bass, then another monologue. I think it's just too slow of a song for my tastes.

Charades[4:01]: Perhaps my least favorite track from The New Normal. It's probably the most simple song on the album, and when I'm listening to Cog, I really want more progression. I think the song is very out of place in the album, especially when you consider what is to come.

Doors/Naming the Elephant[21:03]: I am placing these songs as one track because I have never listened to them individually, and I think to do that would be to do a disservice to Cog, because the songs are in my opinion the two most amazing songs on the album. Secondly, before you listen to these songs, you must place your self in a very quiet and open state of mind. Doors starts off with what sounds to be video game sampling of sorts. Then at the 1:15 mark, what sounds to be like a backwards tracked woodwind insturment of some sorts. After that, a very atmospheric guitar riff, and then a slow melodic vocal entry. The sedated sound created in the first 2 minutes of the song leave you extremely vulnerable to emotional changes, which is shown at several points throughout the song. A little before the 5:00 mark, the tone of the shifts from soft and emotional to dark and forceful. Flynn plays the same atmospheric riff, but this time, he slathers it in distortion. At the 8:30 mark, the song switches back to "chill mode," which then leads us to the Naming the Elephant. This track begins with a three note clean guitar pattern, then at around the 1:00 minute, more elements are added, then the song changes to a very unique feeling that is really indescribable with words. I think these 2 songs show where Cog may be going with their music in years to come. It is definitely the most mature sound they have when compared to other songs on The New Normal. At the 4:15 mark, the song takes an extreme change. The unique feeling gives way for the almost comically forboding sound created by the the harmony line. This song is one of the most unpredictable song as far as structure. Moods shift so quickly, you hardly even know what to think. After the drop off occurs once again, there is another three-minute crescendo, which ends with a nice peice of guitar work.

All in all, The New Normal is definitely one of the best debut albums, by one of music's most unknown bands. Hopefully one day they will recieve the world-wide recognition that they fully deserve.

4.5/5


user ratings (183)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
br3ad_man
Emeritus
July 23rd 2005



2125 Comments


Cog are a cool band. I haven't picked up the album yet though. Good review.

Killtacular
July 23rd 2005



1314 Comments


Could've had a bit more detail on a song or two. Other than that, good work. You get a thumb.

:thumb:

SoLs
July 23rd 2005



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice review, i think 4 1/2 is on the money, prob one of the better albums ive heard this year, Doors is just an amazing song, plus i really enjoy the bass intro to The River Song and how it sets up the rest of the song nicely, good stuff

Jim
July 23rd 2005



5110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I heard the full album a couple of times on the radio. Needless to say, I'm impressed.

I'm keeping my eye out.

Nice review!

3074326
July 24th 2005



20 Comments


Very nice review.

I love Cog. I keep telling myself I'm going to start listening to them again, maybe this review will get me to actually do it this time.

I wish that I lived in Australia so I could have more access to these guys.

Dr. Jake Destructo
July 24th 2005



86 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I emailed Flynn a couple of times. I even was added to the Cog Street Team! He said that if they ever toured the US, they would contact me. Perhaps by the time they get out their next album, they'll be popular enough to be able to head our way. :-D Oh, and if anyone is interested, you can get all of their Just Visiting(Pts. 1 and 2) from their website.



dUSK
July 30th 2005



94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Arggh Jake! I reviewed this last night and was gonna post it today. Ah well.

I agree with most of what you've said. However, My Enemy, is my least favourite track on the album. I feel it just shows too much that it was intended to be a single, and if Cog ever sell out that will be how they'll sound. You may want to note that Run has been selected as the albums second single, and I believe it's a much better choice.

I agree with you totally on Charades and Doors/Naming The Elephant.

Very nice review, I couldn't have provided anything better myself. :thumb:




clearvision
July 30th 2005



36 Comments


You can still post your review greg...

deadinholywood
August 1st 2005



238 Comments


This is without a doubt the best album that ive heard this year. There isnt any filler tracks and they sound unlike any other band that ive ever heard.
My favourite track on the album is the beautifully titled Doors (now and then it seems like my life is going nowhere) i love the change from the gentle soft section to the agressive dark bit.
I would agree that Charades is the poorest song on the album and i cringe every time that i hear Gower rhyme Adelaide with lemonade...but if thats the worst thing i can say about the album thats not a bad thing.
run is an amazing spacy song that is easy to get lost in the layered vocals, and naming the elephant reminds me of just visiting.
Cog Rock!

dUSK
August 1st 2005



94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I think of Naming the Elephant as somewhat of an extension to Just Visiting. Lyrically anyway. For instance:
"See people look for pattens recurring themes repeating. They don't look for change they look for patterns.
Thoughts, ideas, events, scenarios, conversations repeating.
People look for patterns."


It just fits with the repetitive nature of Naming the Elephants lyrics, and in turn the lyrics to My Enemy.

Has anyone else here who purchased the album looked into the Braille in the album art yet?

Clearvision, I shan't post my review as Jakes is better. :p


deadinholywood
August 7th 2005



238 Comments


yeah you linked either linked me to the braille or posted it on mx, pretty interesting stuff.
Oh yeah and i love Gowers aussie Bryan Brown style voice on the spoken parts of the spine and the river song

Not long til NIN now G_Mac :thumb:

dUSK
August 8th 2005



94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Yeah, I posted it in your thread...

When I see Cog, 3 days before NIN, I'm going to make a shirt with the messages the Braille contains all over it. Hopefully it will turn out cool.

Kage
August 8th 2005



1173 Comments


Awesome review, Jake. You've persuaded me to give this album another listen, because the first time I listened to it, I didn't like it much. Your review highlighted some of the things I guess I just wasn't paying attention to.

I'll post back with my thoughts later.

EDIT: Well, it's official. I still don't like it :-/ Something about their sound is really cheesy and fake and boring to me. I don't know why. For example, the song 'Run' where he's on about "Gotta run gotta run, gotta get along" or something like that is just REALLY lame to me.This Message Edited On 08.08.05

dUSK
August 9th 2005



94 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I can understand people not liking Flynns lyrics. It's something I highlighted in my review. I would say thats the groups biggest downfall, he is simply just too repetitive.

Auldy
August 9th 2005



351 Comments


good review but id give this album 4

Serapheus
September 3rd 2005



251 Comments


This probably the album I've paid least attention too ever, the vocals have sumthing which doesn't connect with me, maybe it will grow on me.

blueyxd
September 11th 2005



77 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Charades is actually a pretty old song, but they only ever played it once or twice in the JV days (2002/the Bluey era of Cog). I remember someone talking about it being played, though maybe he was lying and Cog heard this rumor and went with the title...

Resonating was also around in 2002 if anyone cares. That might give some insight into why some songs sound the way they do.

I quite like The Spine, River Song, Resonating and Charades. Anarchy OK and Silence is Violence bore me. For the rest, I either don't have much swing either way, or haven't listened enough.

I must say I still like the way Flynn plays guitar, he's been a big influence on my style, good to see it lives on.

RichHunt
November 21st 2005



14 Comments


The bass is actually bass in run. Don't know why you'd assume it's Lucius with more sampling.

NuMetalMania
December 12th 2005



325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Great to see a band flying the aussie flag for my great country lol!!!. Ive only heard 1 song of theirs on the Radio and i couldnt get enough of it, i thought it was fantastic. GO COG!!!! keep it up, youve got futures.

NuMetalMania
December 30th 2005



325 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

News, new cog album out soon, Febuary at this stage. Cant wait, i bet its just as good as this release.



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