Review Summary: Originally formed during the writing process for Filter’s fourth album, Army of Anyone's self-titled debut, brings about a refreshing take for mainstream rock.
Army of Anyone is comprised of:
Richard Patrick – Vocals, frontman of Filter
Dean DeLeo – Guitar, former guitarist of Stone Temple Pilots
Robert DeLeo – Bass, former bassist of Stone Temple Pilots
Ray Luzier – Drums, former drummer for David Lee Roth
AoA originally formed during the writing process for Filter’s fourth album, as Richard Patrick sought help from the DeLeo brothers (Credit to Wikipedia). They later welcomed Ray Luzier into the fold as their drummer. Their self-titled debut, produced by Bob Ezrin (NIN, Pink Floyd, KISS), brings about a refreshing take for mainstream rock.
“Army of Anyone” meshes the musical influences of Stone Temple Pilots and Filter, but such an outcome should be easily determined. A softer approach than most of his work, Richard Patrick finds his vocal work a touch subtler than his abrasive-yet-melodic tone he features with Filter. Not to mention, he’s working in an environment that doesn’t utilize elements of industrial music (which Filter is partly classified into). The end result, when paired with the talents of the brothers DeLeo and Ray Luzier, comes across as a remarkable debut effort for the group.
The album starts off with a steady melodic rock track “It Doesn’t Seem to Matter”, where the quartet gets in the groove early on, with the instrumentation of the DeLeo brothers complimenting Patrick’s vocals quite well. The track itself feels like it pays homage to Filter’s “Welcome to the Fold”, but this could very well just be due to Patrick’s voice alone. Next up, is a slithering number “Goodbye”, where Army of Anyone pick up their intensity, stopping only a melodic breath at the chorus. “Generation” starts out with a pulsing drum beat, a prelude to a well-driven number where Patrick and company continue to peddle their melodic brand of rock.
“Army of Anyone” slows down a little bit with the downtempo “A Better Place”, which incidentally, is the song that resulted from the first meeting of Patrick and the DeLeo brothers, and it shows, as it seems to be one of the finer crafted songs on the album. “Non Stop” represents the bit of a lull that the album provides, despite a nice bridge, but nevertheless the flow of the song seems to be weaker than the first few offerings of the album. “Disappear” feels awkward, as the song structure doesn’t seem to have a strong sense of direction of what pace it’s going to go at, as it goes from a slow to medium pace with what feels little warning.
The latter half of the album kicks off with “Stop Look and Listen”, a ballad-like number. The track, while relaxing, doesn’t give much depth in the lyrical department, especially with the chorus, which refrains “Stop, look, and listen, maybe that’s the way we’ll know”. “Ain’t Enough” is up next, which picks up the pace and intensity a little bit, in comparison to the softer center of the album, and it’s a steady song that holds one’s attention for the duration. Building up even more is “Father Figure”, which starts off with driving rhythm and harsher vocals, a very refreshing change of pace in the album.
Dropping back down in intensity, “Leave It” takes the form of an atmospheric piece that starts calming down a listener as the album inches closer and closer to the end. Featuring swirling guitar and a mellow rhythm, the song could pass well for a closer in its own right. Finally, we’re down to the end, “This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen”, where the album closes quietly with a very mellow track, driven by a well-arranged acoustic guitar and Patrick’s vocals, which become very ethereal at points of the song. It also features a well-structured bridge instrumental that eventually becomes the outro to the track, as well as the album.
All in all, “Army of Anyone” is a good listen. It features a synthesis of influences from each member’s past (except for Luzier, there’s no David Lee Roth-ness found here) into a remarkable effort. However, there are times where the album seems to drag its feet a little, unsure of what pace a song is going to go, or sometimes the lyrics become a little repetitive, but all in all, for fans of both Filter and Stone Temple Pilots especially, it’s worth a listen.
Recommended tracks: “It Doesn’t Seem to Matter”, “A Better Place”, “Father Figure”, “This Wasn’t Supposed to Happen”