Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Review: 286 - Profiled (2005)


Los Angeles has long been known for churning out great hard rock acts, particularly in the '80s and early '90s. Names like Mötley Crüe, Guns 'n' Roses, and Van Halen immediately come to mind when thinking of the L.A. scene. Thus it comes as no surprise that 286, a young rockin' outfit founded by the Verry brothers (originally from Argentina), calls Los Angeles home.

Together with drummer Pete Pace and vocalist Adam Joad, the Verry brothers have unleashed an innovative rock sound that is well showcased on Profiled, their debut EP. The title track brings to mind the best of bands like AC/DC and Rose Tattoo with wild hooks, screechy licks, and pounding bass. Frontman Adam Joad belts out the lyrics with plenty of attitude, doing justice to the energetic riffs. The memorable gang choruses impress the tune further, leaving it to stick with you long after the CD has ended. "Record Store Prophets", the final track on Profiled, begins with a great bluesy riff and incorporates all the elements of the lead off track to result in another high-octane rocker. A frenzied solo from Martin caps off this great album closer.

Now, I did mention that Profiled was an innovative release. This creativity manifests in the form of Adam's vocals. On the first and last tracks, he sings in a fairly straightforward hard rock style. His background, though, comes from fronting east coast punk and hardcore acts. And so beginning with "68'", Adam goes back to his roots and adopts a very hardcorish style. His style has, in fact, more in common with nu-metal screamcore bands than older hardcore, which results in the combination of two quite different styles of music on this EP. I am not a fan of screamcore (or any other *core, for that matter), so Joad's vocals serve as more of a buzzkill for me than enhancing the listen. Despite great bass lines, raunchy guitars, and even some good ol' Southern swamp licks, "68'", "Broken Peace", and "Dark Carnival" come across to me like a mixture of fire and ice.

The band does deserve a tip o' the hat for their ambition and creativity. In fact, I'm optimistic that 286's unorthodox formula will introduce to screamcore kids what real rock sounds like. Profiled should definitely be on your radar if you're in the mood for something off the beaten path.

Track Listing
1 Profiled 3:10
2 68' 3:02
3 Broken Peace 3:36
4 Dark Carnival 4:36
5 Record Store Prophets 3:13
Total Runtime17:37

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