Fuel
Anomaly


3.0
good

Review

by bananatossing USER (14 Reviews)
October 25th, 2021 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Anomaly is more like a modernized version of the band with decent results that may regain interest of new fans and old fans alike.

I have a soft spot for Fuel; they are the first post-grunge/alternative rock band that I can say I loved growing up. 3 Doors Down, Creed, Course of Nature, and all the myriad of bands that came out at the time that fall into this category never caught my attention as much as Fuel. I’ve been listening to these guys since “Shimmer” got airplay on radio and have listened to their singles countless of times.

While this band never released anything amazing or even remotely close to a classic, they had a very consistent stride in their first three albums. Sunburn is genuinely an excellent encapsulation of the 90’s post-grunge sound; it rocks when it wants to and it’s sometimes inventive as well. Not to mention the great performances from drummer Kevin Miller and lead singer Brett Scallions which elevate the album. Something Like Human came along as a heavier version of the band, with some of their most well-known songs “Hemorrhage (In My Hands)”, “Bad Day”, “Last Time” and “Innocent”. While their follow-up album was criticized for being too reliant on its singles and having nothing unique to it, I’ve grown to appreciate the atmosphere and songwriting in most of these songs and take the album for what it is. Natural Selection, on the other hand, sees the band trying new things with mixed to positive results; the production is stellar here and they were able to combine some industrial and metal elements along with better guitar work (“These Things” for reference) but ultimately the album feels a bit long and some of the songs felt into “more of the same” territory. It was still a very solid release, albeit you can also hear a more worn-out Scallions which brought some internal struggles within the band.

Ever since Natural Selection, the band’s history has been a train wreck in terms of consistency. After the departure of Brett Scallions and Kevin Miller, main songwriter and lead guitarist Carl Bell and founding bassist Jeff Abercrombie decided to continue the band recruiting vocalist Toryn Green. Angels & Devils was released and turned out to be a massive disappointment for longtime fans. The album saw the band going into very generic direction with very bland production, and many also criticized Toryn’s vocals not being a good fit for the band. This saw the band leaving Epic Records and then dissolve into oblivion. After a long period of silence founding lead singer Brett Scallions decided to recruit a totally new band and then release an album named Puppet Strings. While this album went generally under the radar, it was basically a Brett Scallions solo album with the Fuel brand slapped into it. And while the result was a very mixed bag with country and southern rock influences it was, for the most part, passable. “Cold Summer”, “Wander” and “What We Can Never Have” brought some glimmer of the classic Fuel sound, but often it went to very bland songwriting to straight bad like with the opener “Yeah” and the lead single “Soul to Preach To”.

After two failed comebacks for the band, Carl Bell decided to give it another chance and teamed up with founding drummer Kevin Miller to recruit yet again a totally brand-new line up, this time including vocalist John Corsale. So, what are the results this time? Well, they are not terrible. Make no mistake, while this is being marketed as a “return to roots” for the band is a pop album under the guise of post-grunge. But that may be the reason why it succeeds to an extent since the hooks are there and the songs are very catchy. There is absolutely nothing special about this and if you didn’t like Fuel before then this will do nothing to change your mind. However, Carl Bell is a very good songwriter when he tries and this time it seems he took his time to write songs that have some memorability and are easily relatable.

While the album is often formulaic and/or generic, some of the songs have a peculiar structure where they just skip a second verse altogether and trade it with a random solo in the middle of the song. This may be a good idea to not overdo the songs, but the result is a bunch of songs that come and go a bit too quick. The overall length of the album ultimately ends up very short as well. Did I mention the solos already? Yeah, this has some of Carl’s best guitar work. Songs like “I’m Gone”, “See Your Eyes” and “Keep It Away” could easily fit into Something Like Human while “The Only Ones” and “Alive” have more of a sound reminiscent of Natural Selection. “Don’t Say I” attempts to be one of the power ballads of the old albums with success. The rest of the songs fall into pop territory. “Hard”, “Landslide” and the more somber “4 Walls” are good examples of this.

Kevin Miller goes unnoticed most of the time but lead singer John Corsale has a peculiar feature; he sounds like a combination of the higher and raspier tone of Toryn Green and uses some of the lower range of Brett Scallions. While he may not be as powerful or memorable as Brett he does an adequate job singing Carl’s songs in a way that sounds natural and fit for the band. If Sunburn was a perfect way to represent 90’s and early 2000’s alternative/post-grunge and Something Like Human a harder rock version of that, then Anomaly is more like a modernized version of the band with decent results that may regain interest of new fans and old fans alike.


Recommended songs:
“See Your Eyes”
“Don’t Say I”
“Keep It Away”
“The Only Ones”
“4 Walls”



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user ratings (18)
2.5
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
parksungjoon
October 25th 2021


47235 Comments


intredasting

Brabiz
October 25th 2021


2214 Comments


Beginning of Hard reminds me of Theme of Laura from Silent Hill 2. Fucking weird. I’m sure this album is just as fine as their last one. Band has been really meh for awhile

ChrimzonCanine
October 25th 2021


2080 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Only song I remember by these guys was Won’t Back Down

bananatossing
October 25th 2021


2347 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"Won't Back Down" is good, but they have much better singles methinks.



"I’m sure this album is just as fine as their last one. Band has been really meh for awhile"



Pretty much.

William21
October 25th 2021


879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This album is passable I guess, I just wish Scallions and Bell could get along. The band hasn't been the same since Natural Selection

BustUrBallz
October 25th 2021


8 Comments


bad

bananatossing
October 25th 2021


2347 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"The band hasn't been the same since Natural Selection"



Agreed. Brett's vocals sold Carl's songs in a way these other singers don't. Unfortunately even Brett's vocals have taken a hit over the years.

William21
October 26th 2021


879 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I will say this: Corsale is at least better than Toryn was

Coldplaz
October 26th 2021


204 Comments


I only like shimmer and Quarter because of NFS Underground.
I find it really amusing how each one of their last 3 albums was recorded by a completely different line up of musicians (Apart from the main guitarist and songwriter who appeared on first and third album).

Gyromania
October 27th 2021


37188 Comments


It kind of blows my mind how bands like these keep making the same shitty generic music 20+ years later. They're like that kid that never developed out of their high school years

parksungjoon
October 27th 2021


47235 Comments


agreed gyro but also lol this feature

bananatossing
October 27th 2021


2347 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

whoa pretty surprised to see this featured. thanks!



"It kind of blows my mind how bands like these keep making the same shitty generic music 20+ years later."



It's generic for sure. I think it passes for older dudes like myself who still have nostalgia for this band.



bloc
October 28th 2021


70370 Comments


Part of me wants to listen to this only because seeing the album cover Something Like Human is quite nostalgic

WillieD
October 28th 2021


367 Comments


"It kind of blows my mind how bands like these keep making the same shitty generic music 20+ years later. They're like that kid that never developed out of their high school years"

Yeah, it's pretty bad when the music becomes even more juvenile and bland sounding.

veninblazer
October 28th 2021


16839 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'm not sure how a band like this is SUPPOSED to evolve in everyone's eyes. stop doing standard drum pattern, common chord progressions, and minor key melodies?

Either way, this is meh but better than their last so far.

ghostalgeist
October 28th 2021


751 Comments


SHE DREAMS THE CHAMPAAAGNE DREEEAAMMMM

STRAWBERRRRY SURPRIIISE

PINK LINEN ON WHIITE PAPPERRR

Conmaniac
October 28th 2021


27694 Comments


LAVENDER AND CREAM
FIELDS OF BUTTERFLIES
REALITY ESCAPES HER

Conmaniac
October 28th 2021


27694 Comments


she said that love is for fools that fall behind… ),:

bananatossing
October 28th 2021


2347 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"I'm not sure how a band like this is SUPPOSED to evolve in everyone's eyes. stop doing standard drum pattern, common chord progressions, and minor key melodies?"



Wholeheartedly agree. Bands like these are very well a product of their time. Maybe they can exploit that a little smarter next time and go into a heavier direction.

Captain Civic
October 29th 2021


441 Comments


"Wholeheartedly agree. Bands like these are very well a product of their time."

Exactly. While genres of music go out of style, that doesn't mean there aren't people who still enjoy it, and would want to hear more new songs in that vein. Not everything has to constantly evolve for the sake of it.

Also thank you for having a review summary is actually a summary



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