Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Review: Fead - Nameless (2003)


Fead is a young three-piece hailing from the eastern shores of Lake Michigan. Their debut EP Nameless has been generating a buzz among those in the nu-metal circles, who praise the band's catchy melodies and hardcore attitude. I think this album contains a bit more than just the run-of-the-mill nu-metal formula, though. The hardcore is certainly there, particularly in the vocal style of Dexter Brown, but I hear a hint of old-school thrashiness as well. There's little room to doubt that these guys are striving to embrace the corporate definition of metal, however.

The impression I'm left with after spinning this disc several times is that I know they could have done better, nu-metal tendencies notwithstanding. The songs sound very loose, and at times seem as if they've lost direction. For the most part, the riffs and melodies are what you'd expect from just about every "metal" band on the radio today but there seems to be a tentativeness about their execution. Yet there are notable exceptions to my perception. The main riff from Brown (who is also the guitarist) on "Jailswine" is prominent, confident, and memorable. Drummer Brian Cole steps it up a notch on this track too, delivering some impressive beats. Another bright spot for Fead is the title track. Some have commented on the band having a sound comparable to Korn, which I can hear pretty clearly on this track. However, I can also hear some good ol' Bay Area influences in the riffs.

One of the things that hurts this EP the most is the production. The drums sound awfully muddy, which is something that tends to really get under my skin. A little more time spent fine tuning would have worked wonders here. On the positive side of the fence, Fead displays moments of solid musicianship and songwriting which can easily be tapped into and exploited to create a more robust album, given they take the time to polish and tighten things up a bit.

Track Listing
1Deemed Impossible
2Lead On
4The Grip

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