modernsextrash
penumbra


3.5
great

Review

by Trey Spencer STAFF
March 31st, 2010 | 47 replies | 6,605 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Incubus meets God Lives Underwater?

Music recommendations from users on this site are a hit-and-miss proposition. Occasionally these suggestions will lead to the discovery of a great release, but most of the time that just isn’t the case. With that in mind, I was initially hesitant about listening to an industrial rock album that a fellow staff member had suggested. All of the signs – from the band name to the artwork accompanying each song – seemed to point to this band being another cheesy Marylyn Manson meets Thrill Kill Kult sleaze-fest. It turns out, though, that the band’s name isn’t doing them any justice because they are actually a pretty talented bunch of individuals. It also turns out that their music is actually a unique take on alternative rock that just happens to make effective use of electronics – so much for baseless assumptions.

On Penumbra the electronics definitely make up the foundation of each track by providing a gritty and rhythmic layer of synths and sounds, but they’re not the actual focal point of the songs. The heart of the music lies with the creative riffing of Phil Merriman, and the solid accompaniment of the rhythm section. Much like Mike Einziger of Incubus, Phil is able to compose riffs that are original, quirky and energetic while still remaining firmly within the alt. rock genre. Also, much like Incubus, the rhythm section uses the space created by these quirky riffs to experiment with a variety of beats and funky bass riffs, but there’s still one more piece to this puzzle. That piece is the chill vocals of Andrew Linde. While the music is delivered with a near-constant energetic vibe, Andrew lays his vocals over the top in a laid back, almost casual way. His sleepy vocals almost seem to drift over the top of the upbeat music, and this disparity works to further the quirky nature of the songs.

I’ve heard people say that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I’ve also been told that stereotyping saves time – in this case the truth was in the former. Despite the type of music the band name may imply, this is actually a really solid collection of alt. rock songs that utilize electronics as their foundation. The music is quirky and pretty original, and while the relaxed delivery of the vocals don’t allow for any strong hooks, they do their job just fine. It’s also worth noting, by the way, that the band have been gracious enough to allow this album to be downloaded for free (although donations are always appreciated).



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user ratings (11)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
March 31st 2010



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Just a quick review for Soby. Download the album here:

http://modernsextrash.com/download/penumbra.html

Digging: Teramaze - Esoteric Symbolism

cirq
March 31st 2010



9257 Comments


How long have you been a mod? I don't remember seeing moderator by your name before...

Willie
Moderator
March 31st 2010



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I don't know... a month maybe?

Edit: Feb 17th

cirq
March 31st 2010



9257 Comments


Ahh, belated congrats! And good review, makes we wanna check them out.

Willie
Moderator
March 31st 2010



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Thanks. The album is free so it couldn't hurt to give it a shot.

kingsoby1
Emeritus
March 31st 2010



4830 Comments


nice thanks trey!

Digging: Nmesh - Dream Sequins

Meatplow
March 31st 2010



5524 Comments


Not really feeling this, it got interesting towards the middle and end though.

bloc
March 31st 2010



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I got the download, will listen to it this weekend.

Digging: He Is Legend - I Am Hollywood

Gee
March 31st 2010



228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

free stuff is always good... even if its shit. will check this out, sounds like something id like though.

Phantom
March 31st 2010



8930 Comments


noo noo

EVedder27
March 31st 2010



6088 Comments


May check this out just because I'm an Incubus fan. Great review Willie.

DoubtGin
March 31st 2010



6686 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

generous 3.5 from me.. was quiet good but nothing really stood out

Willie
Moderator
March 31st 2010



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cool, I'm glad some people are checking this out. I think the reason that nothing stands out is because the vocals are used in a way that makes them just another part of the music. According to last.fm, I've listened to these songs 40 times over the past week and so certain songs and parts do stand out to me.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
March 31st 2010



20825 Comments


Band clearly doesn't believe in capital letters. Nice review Trey... I like the way you protest the band name by not mentioning it directly once.

Willie
Moderator
March 31st 2010



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Ha ha. I didn't notice that. I'm definitely not a fan of the band name.

bloc
March 31st 2010



34499 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No kidding, If you didn't rec me this I never would have even touched this.

Shadow17
April 1st 2010



67 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great stuff. I'm loving it! And it's free, which is a plus. I can see a new full length LP being good.

Gee
April 1st 2010



228 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This is actually really good, thanks for this review, would never have heared this otherwise. great review too.

Willie
Moderator
April 1st 2010



15774 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Cool. Glad you checked it out.

modernsextrash
April 2nd 2010



2 Comments


thanks for listening everyone. we plan on keeping up the free releases for a few more here so stay tuned!



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