Cog
Sharing Space


2.0
poor

Review

by Pistol Pete USER (28 Reviews)
April 10th, 2012 | 25 replies | 1,537 views


Release Date: 2008 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Cog look to build upon the rebellion begun in "The New Normal" and, in the process, tarnish everything that made the band what it once was. What a way to go out.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

Cog was once a very promising young hard rock band. They commanded the genre, serving up a suitable mix of rebellious chanting (similar to System of a Down) and progressive rock (influenced by Tool). The one thing in my mind that set these guys apart was how comfortable they sounded in both those styles. When I play their 2005 hit “The New Normal”, I am equally impressed at their shorter, punchier offerings, as well as their epic 10-min long juggernauts. Granted, I only finally got around to listening to Cog within the last 6 months, but its effect is the same regardless of the year listened. Cog had truly stumbled upon the perfect balance and was a truly brilliant example of rock done right.

That description of Cog I just gave? It was thrown away with their 2008 album “Sharing Space”, seemingly forgotten. It was interesting just to see how Cog would evolve from “The New Normal”, but this album feels lackluster, like a step backwards from what they were once. Three years between albums is an average break for a band, short enough that fans don’t starve, long enough for a significant degree of change and influence to set in while the band tours and writes new material. Cog obviously decided to take a more tamed, softer approach to rock. This would have been fine, had they not also dropped the energy and passion of their music, the ‘oomph’ as I like to call it.

“The New Normal” was an album packed with lyrics referring to the state of obliviousness humans have entered as a result of profit-driven corporations and self-righteous governments. The new normal refers to a world where we follow the orders of our superiors and where the nature of daily life is that it is a pointless cyclical phenomenon that we just live through instead of savouring it. That album focused first and foremost upon the individual; what this lifestyle turned the individual into and how it feels. And it was sad, but they delivered it with such passion that you sympathized and sang along with them, no matter how cliché the lyrics were: “Silence, so much violence. Violence, so much silence” or “Underrated, overstated, real life”.

If “The New Normal” was the effect of meaninglessness on the individual, “Sharing Space” is where Cog points the finger at who’s to blame; the government mainly. And it just...isn’t a good look for Cog. Instead, it is the sound of a band who is talking about something they seem to know very little about. It’s an album that is obviously meant to be some sort of rebellion but lacks followers because of how weak the message comes off. “Are You Interested?” leads into a chant stating “Yes they’re making lists of people interested in this. And anyone who speaks their mind is labelled anarchist”. "Swamp" begins with an embarrassing repetition of “I don’t listen at all to the government”. It seems as though Cog was better suited to stay focused on the everyday person, instead of painting governments as these corrupt machines that insist on things being run their way. It’s just something other bands communicate better.

Musically, the album’s lack of passion and enthusiasm is also inherent in the song writing. It’s as I described, tamed and weak. The opening 9-min track is forgotten by the time it’s over; leaving nowhere near the kind of presence “Real Life” gave as an opener. And the rest of the album follows suit, contributing nothing, doing nothing to make me feel any different about myself, asking me to raise my fists and protest with Cog to no avail. The only time this album may have been on the verge of breaking out of the shell Cog confined it in were the ending moments, specifically the heartfelt “Bitter Pills” and the semi-catchy “Four Walls”. This was one of the most disappointing albums I’ve ever listened to. It wasn’t disappointing because it was the worst album I’ve ever heard, it was just average music from a band I had come to know as one that broke barriers and sang with some passion. I definitely wasn't expecting "The New Normal - Part 2", but something at least a bit reminiscent of old Cog would have sufficed. It’s just not here, and now Cog’s gone leaving us with this empty vessel of an album. Don’t be sorry Cog, I feel sorry for you.



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user ratings (154)
Chart.
3.9
excellent
other reviews of this album
Trojan (5)
Hard to categorize, not love at first site, but a brilliant full length once fully absorbed. Recomm...

TheDistantFuture (3)
They Don't Listen At All to the Government. Tsk. Tsk....


Comments:Add a Comment 
PistolPete
April 10th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Never written a review for an album that was under a 3 rating, but I felt too strongly about this album.

Digging: Jolly - The Audio Guide to Happiness (Part 1)

PistolPete
April 10th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

you do whachu want potato, i've said my piece *leans back in chair with smug look*

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2012



7165 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Classic

Digging: Floor - Oblation

PistolPete
April 10th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

i hope i don't make vooligan sad with this, he's the one who introduced me to most of this aussie stuff, such a friendly little dinosaur

Jethro42
April 10th 2012



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great album. The New Normal is a better by a thin marge.

PistolPete
April 10th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I cannot describe how much I loved The New Normal, and my expectations for this were pretty high. How the ratings between these two are so close is beyond me, I've given this so many tries at this point. Most other bands I would've written off by the second listen but I had to try this over and over again since it was Cog we're talking about. I felt bad about this rating but it's what it deserves to me anyways.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
April 10th 2012



7165 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I think it's better/more mature than The New Normal.

profoundword
April 10th 2012



239 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Totally agree with this, the album musically sounds jaded and uninspired most of the way through... And the half-assed condemnations of Governance are pathetic, to pull off such a musical cliche you have to actually have some insight into the political process (making lists doesn't quite cut it for me) or at the very least some passion about it. Very lame end for Cog.

SCREAMorphine
April 10th 2012



1710 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven't listened to the New Normal yet.

But for the moment I think this album is great, good review man.

PistolPete
April 10th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

I would without a doubt recommend The New Normal over this SCREAM, but then again you started with this album so iunno how that will play out. Also thank you.

@profoundword: it has become a bit of a musical cliche hasn't it (I'm recalling Muse's latest album too), this album just sounds like Cog kinda following what others were doing at the time and IMO falling flat on their face

profoundword
April 10th 2012



239 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

@pwalcher: Agreed. Shame to see them go out like this, they seemed destined for much better things... Nice review too btw

Jethro42
April 10th 2012



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

definitely far from being a 2, that's for sure

qwe3
April 10th 2012



21154 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

this band is bad

Drpibb
April 11th 2012



114 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bird of Feather is an amazing song. It took me a while to really embrace this album, but once I did...well let's just say I'm glad I did.

AtavanHalen
April 11th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

whatever, i liked this

PistolPete
April 11th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

When I rated this a 2, I watched the average rating go from 3.8 to 3.7...and I still thought it was too high. Still though, I love when you're the person who causes the average number to fall/rise, great feeling lol

Jethro42
April 11th 2012



12052 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

2 looks like a troll rating here tbh

PistolPete
April 11th 2012



3462 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

Nah I didn't mean to sound 'troll-like' above, anything below a 2 would've been just that. And I think so highly of Cog's other LP, it's one of the best albums I've heard. Trolling is not what I set out to do ever, this is my honest opinion.

qwe3
April 11th 2012



21154 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

"2 looks like a troll rating here tbh"

lol why

AtavanHalen
April 11th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

the problem is that you just make a lot of vague statements and don't really back them up

oh, and you rely far too heavily on personal pronoun



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