Pressure 4-5
Burning The Process



by Nat S. USER (18 Reviews)
March 3rd, 2017 | 1 replies

Release Date: 2001 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pour me out into the mold, but I'll break out.

Ah, nu metal. What is there to say about this genre that hasn’t already been said? The movement that gave rise to some of the most universally detested bands in living memory, forever associated with angsty suburban teenagers wanting reasons to hate on their parents… yeah, it doesn’t exactly have the best reputation, and I’d be lying if I said I couldn’t understand why. It’s a darn shame that this is the way nu metal is viewed by the public, though, because if Santa Barbara nobodies Pressure 4-5’s sole album Burning the Process is anything to go by, the scene did have something to offer after all.

Simply put, Burning the Process is the sound of a young band trying desperately to stand out in a crowd full of almost identical bands. Right from opener "These Hands", with its interlocking riffs, fluctuating time signatures and Adam Rich's statement that "I've waited for so long to break away from all that's wrong", it's clear that Pressure 4-5 are going for quite a different style from most of the other bands they're associated with - a style that's uniquely them. Although this is undoubtedly an alternative metal record, and although some of the band's influences show through here and there (Chevelle, Alien Ant Farm and Incubus amongst others), you’d be hard-pressed to find an album that sounds exactly like this one. More importantly, Pressure 4-5 sound as if they've settled on a sound they're comfortable with - even if the actual music isn't anything we've never heard before, the band sounds confident enough for me to look past that.

Understandably, then, it's when they try to step out of that style that things start to come undone. "Even Worse" is an awkward attempt at rap-rock, and "Into Yesterday" tries to be a strong closing track but ultimately just feels too long-winded and meandering for its own good. These two songs in particular give the feeling that Pressure 4-5 should just stick to what they know, because the results are far more effective when they do. In terms of lyricism, there are points where it can feel like the band are trying a little too hard - as if they want to be unique and cryptic a la Deftones or Chevelle, but end up writing lines that feel somewhat forced. Still, I give them props for avoiding nu metal cliches; if the whiney or faux-aggressive nature of a lot of these bands turns you off, this might be more to your taste.

The sad irony of Pressure 4-5's rather non-conformist approach to alternative metal is that it limited their appeal considerably. The scene to which they belonged thrived on a different kind of weirdness; one that had less to do with musical content and more to do with theatrics and gimmicks. It's clear these guys were far more interested in being musicians than entertainers, and had no intention of taking the easy road to success by going for an already played-out sound, so they tried to forge their own path instead. It never gained them anything more than a cult following, but I suspect they couldn’t have cared less.

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December 2nd 2018


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