Review Summary: Over-Reactor's Lose Your Delusion is one of the most unique heavy records of the last ten years, and must be heard to be believed.
Over-Reactor's Lose Your Delusion is one of the most unique heavy records of the last ten years, and possesses a heavy, bone-rattling sound that is entirely theirs. The guitars are loose, the vocals are fast, the drums are satisfying - while the concept itself does not seem particularly groundbreaking, the album must be heard to be understood. Unlike the common rock band, Over-Reactor, consisting of frontman Ezekiel Ox (Full Scale Revolution, Mammal) and drummer Cory Blight (Dukes of Windsor), stand stylistically alone in the musical spectrum of today, and independent from the downfalls of the greedy, corrupt major label industry. To be honest, it seems there is not a single "they remind me of that band" moment throughout the entire duration of the record, which makes its discovery all the more compelling.
Consistency is the record's most powerful weapon in its vast arsenal. Throughout its duration, there are simply too many standout tracks to zero out one, two or even a top five. Stunnings songs like scorching opener All Shields Down, Doogie Howser and the effect-ridden Handfed, however, truly make the record. Every song is unique in its own right, and the record is far away from the one tonal colour composition of Full Scale that, while it was a thoroughly enjoyable rock record, it suffered from an undeniable sameness and simplicity. While Over-Reactor are relevant to other Ezekiel Ox-involved band, they cannot be compared in a stylistic sense. It can only be said that they Over-Reactor combine the best of both worlds (and then some) - they boast the consistency of Full Scale Revolution and the variety of Mammal, two elements that come together into the best record in which Ox has ever been involved.
Frontman Ezekiel Ox's vocals are the best now that they've ever been. Gone is the arguably irritating melodic singing that, while it fits certain songs like FSR's "Sixteen Today", it ruins others like Mammal's "Bending Rules". Now he screams like a banshee, accenting the lightning speed style that was supposedly perfect in Mammal's "The Majority", which fits the music like a glove. His lyrics remain ridden with political subjects critical of issues ever present in the world today, often on the grounds of racial intolerance and displeasing government policies that are infinitely relevant to our times.
While Cory Blight is officially the drummer of the band (previously of Dukes of Windsor), he penned almost every instrumental aspect of the band, having recorded the instrumentals previously to meeting Ox. To be blunt, the drums are incredible - Blight's "furious, four-to-the-floor skin pounding and sledgehammer grooves" compliment the riffs in a way not seen since Nirvana's "In Utero". And while the tracks are short, they each pack so very many ideas into their durations. Absolute gems like Doogie Howser and This Weird Love change tempos multiple times, and every beat is as creatively satisfying as the next.
The guitar tone is the band's own, and the riffs never cease to amaze in their unique coarseness. Take the rhythmic gymnastics of new single "Point to Push" for example, or the bluesy guest playing of Chris Cheney (of The Living End), on "Something More". This, combined with the Blight's sludgy metal groove is unlike anything that has come before it. Dissimilarly to the majority of rock bands out there, Blight does not adhere to the common drums/guitar/bass/vocals formula, but more than often adds electronic effects and touches most present in songs like "Handfed" and "Devised a Gun" that utterly complete the music. Live, the band is a strange entity, and consists of Ox on Vocals and Blight on Drums, whilst a perfectly visible Mac Laptop plays the Bass and Guitars. Whilst the band is small, their stage presence is large, and Ox makes it his role to go as berserk as possible.
Perhaps the only two less than fantastic moments on the album are the tracks Disrespect and Naked Words, the latter of which was supposedly the band's first recorded, simply aren't as overwhelming as the large majority of the record. This will hardly numb the rare, excited feeling that will coarse through the listener's spine ofter the first listen. Not only is Lose Your Delusion a bone-crunching, fearlessly individual and independent record, but it also stands high above the previous electrifying bands that Ox has fronted. The record is a mission statement that showcases the the talents of both artists - Blight as a songwriter and drummer, and Ox as a vocalist, and shows that they are a band to be feared and respected, and have the capabilities to turn the Australian music industry upside down.