Friday, July 1, 2011

Review: Obey - Bad Ass (2011)

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Bad Ass

Obey : Bad Ass
The founding members of Obey, Juha Wuorinen and Kalle Suhonen, are veterans of the Finnish metal scene, having cut their teeth in the Gothic doom outfit The Lust I Seek. With their new project, which also includes Mikko Toivola on bass and Jyri Puntala behind the kit, the Finns seek to combine the harshest elements of their former style with a fairly straightforward rock sound. The band's latest promotional release, Bad Ass, is an energetic three-song sampling of the vision that Wuorinen and Suhonen are working toward.

Just twelve minutes long, Bad Ass nevertheless delivers big on groove. Prominent bass lines accompany some snazzy licks and crashing drum fills to establish a strong core of punk-influenced rock. Hints of modern metal, heard through down-tuned riffs and accentuated by Wuorinen's yells, lend a contemporary quality Obey's traditionally inspired sound. "Dying Little Sunshine", with some tasty Southern rock riffs, galloping bass, and soulful leads is a highlight of this little EP - though in truth each track is heavy on the catchiness.

Although pure rock fans will unquestionably be drawn to Obey's musical style, some of them might be put off by Wuorinen's unconventional vocals. Nary a cleanly sung note is to be heard, with Wuorinen relying entirely on a gravelly howl. Having heard Wuorinen's attempts at cleaner vocalizations with The Lust I Seek, I feel that the style he chooses on Bad Ass is clearly much more suited to his abilities and results in a more convincing, comfortable performance.

If a mash-up of groove-oriented rock and brutal vocals isn't too far outside of your comfort zone, give Bad Ass a listen and keep an eye on what the future might hold for Obey.

Track Listing
1That Shit Suites You3:03
2Die For Nothing4:22
3Dying Little Sunshine4:56
Total Runtime12:21

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