Review Summary: Fuel's defining record that seperated them from the post-grunge pack; it's almost progressive metal; as it's filled with slower, down-tempo songs that pack a whallop of melody, and hard, metal anthems.
Most people in America have heard of Fuel, if not only knowing their mega hit Hemmorage (In My Hands)
. That's basically a guarantee. They were just another post-grunge rock band trying to hit it big on the radio; but they had something the others didn't. Maybe it was just because they were so much harder and louder than everyone else. It could have been Brett Scallions 'growling' voice. It might of been their fantastic guitarist, Carl Bell.
It's not any of those things. It's their final CD, Natural Selection
. Before Natural Selection
, they were just the typical sprawling, whiny post-grunge band putting out mega hits like Shimmer
, and Hemmorage (In My Hands)
. With Natural Selection
, Fuel had truely matured and grew into something that was a force to be reckoned with. While Sunburn
and Something Like Human
were boring and lacked identity, Natural Selection
was raw, loud, and surprisingly easy to pick up. It's a shame that Fuel broke up after Natural Selection
, because Fuel truely hit their stride with their third album; who knows what they might have accomplished with later albums.
is filled with loud, angry rockers like Quarter
, which is fun, noisy, and catchy. The bass is turned all the way up, and the guitars have a 'metal' feel to them; Scallions' vocals are as recognizable and catchy as ever. Won't Back Down
is another, louder, metal-influenced song featuring a unbelievably catchy and fun chorus; but the song seems to have bipolar disorder, as the verses don't fit in with this song at all. But, the chorus is just so great, the song is still solid. Most of All
feels like an older Fuel song, it's heavy on the guitar riffs and very radio-friendly; as it's not too hard to scare people off, but it's not too soft to be on the Top 100. It could have easily been a huge radio hit, as it seems to be bland and boring just like the whole Something Like Human
. Getting Thru"
another bass-heavy song that features Scallions' vocals lower on the volume dial, but the chorus is completely disconnected from the rest of the song; and just seems to wind on forever. Die Like This
manages to fuse Fuel's slower songs with their harder, edgy, metal songs with slower, almost acoustic verses with louder, guitar heavy choruses. The lyrics are surprisingly deep and heartfelt, and it manages to fit in well with the song and molds it into one of Natural Selection's
But, Natural Selection's
slower songs truly show Fuel's talent; Down Inside Of You
manages to be deep, heartfelt, loud, and featuring some great guitar riffs. It's catchy as hell; and just seems to keep replaying in your head. Million Miles
is one of Fuel's only atmospheric songs, it features some nice guitar work, and one heck of a chorus that is another that stays stuck in your head. Fall On Me
was a moderate hit, and truly shows it, as it's Natural Selection's
best. Scallions' vocals seem to lull me to sleep before the chorus just seems to wake me up with a jerk. The song just seems to let Scallions' heart bleed out, and it may be one of the most beautiful ballads ever made; it's not a slow, sprawling ballad, but is short, sweet, and hard all in one whopping package. These Things
feels like its right out of the pages of a Dream Theatre record, as it's verses are slow, but feel like metal guitar riffs, and the chorus is louder, and a bit more melodic than the rest of the songs on the album. It features one heck of a Carl Bell solo, too which seems to add to this song's greatness. Running Away
is a down tempo song that is not catchy at all, the guitar work is partically uninspired, and Brett Scallions seems so...tired in this song. Luck
feels like my favorite Something Like Human
. It's slower, the guitars create atmosphere, and Scallions' vocals sprawl and seem to lull the song into a state of dreaminess; but the song isn't catchy and features some rather weird elements. Days With You
feels like a progressive rock anthem; it's loud, noisy, and seems to fuse the slower, ballads with the louder rock songs of their old grunge roots. It's not a catchy song, but Scallions finds his screaming voice much to his avail in a instant classic.
Fuel's Natural Selection
is a solid record that seperated Fuel from the rest of the mindless, bland post-grunge pack. They border on progressive metal in this album, Carl Bell's solos and riffs are amazing and awe-inspiring; and Brett Scallions' voice had truly matured to a point many singers never reach. This could have been the album that changed Fuel's sound and goals, but instead, it just sent lead singer Brett Scallions into a downward spiral that eventually disbanded the band. It's not ground-shattering, but countless post-grunge bands would have killed for an album of this caliber.