Being Superstitious/Demo Mix
Winging itself all the way from Slovenia, a handful of tunes from Noxire’s third offering ‘Being Superstitious’, along with some new demos, arrived a few months ago and has been gradually making its way up the ever teetering CD pile, all helped along by singer / bassist Marcel’s periodic e-mails. What a nice and patient chap!
However, patient and especially nice were not words that sprung to mind when this mini-metal-monster of a CD hit the stereo.
With ten tracks on offer, both new and old, its fair to say this is something of an eclectic mix from Noxire. However, throwing such a variety on one CD always has its good and bad sides; good, in that musical progression becomes very apparent and there are more tracks to appeal to more tastes but bad, as the better tracks can get lost amongst the swirling sonic cocktail. Let me explain a bit more.
When you’re pissed off with your job and you need to get the hell outta there, most people knock up a CV – or a Resume for you international lot. Now the art of a good CV is to sell yourself by giving the recipient just enough information to make them want to meet you rather then handing over your entire life history, thus enabling them to make a judgement there and then.
Exactly the same goes for a demo. While its always nice to chuck on examples of everything you’ve done, this should be something reserved for friends, family and fans, as the art of a good demo is lay down the very best of what you’ve got no matter how short it may end up! Armed with this you’ve now given yourself the best chance to get anyone who listens to it gagging to hear more of you.
In fact this theory can all be easily explained with the use of some simple maths. What!? Yeap, maths. Now stay with me here as I’ll try and do this without sounding like some cantankerous old teacher who really wants to be back in common room sipping a sherry and talking cricket.
First off, here’s the highlights and lowlifes of the ten tracks on offer:
Track 1. ‘Darkman’ – From the electro-acoustic intro/breaks to the metal riffage at end of chorus, this has some good moments being heavy and tuneful at the same time. Marcel’s vocals come through the mix clearly being subtly Mat Bellamy but brazenly Klaus Meine ( Scorpions.) Score = 7/10
Track 2. ‘Last Words’ – Uninspired opening with deep overdriven guitars playing an essentially punk riff adding up to a heavily sedated rebellious feel. The lyrics are personal and could be considered deep if it wasn’t for lines such as ‘I feel pain in my bloody brain’. Fortunately short and therefore avoids potential irritation. Score = 4/10
Track 4. ‘Choose’ – Mean metal guitars are joined by a melodically growling bass for this choppy, thrashy little number. Marcel’s voice has the edge previous tracks were crying out for and, weighing in at just over two minutes, its ripe for the mosh pit. Score 8/10
Track 6. ‘Adrenaline Rush’ – Atmospheric synth starts proceedings ( conjuring up worrying images of 80’s hairspray fetishists, Europe) before the track launches itself, like a kamikaze hamster shot from a catapult, at a studded leather target marked ‘no compromise 80’s metal’. Motorhead, Judas Priest and the Scorpions all shine through. To my ears, brilliant! Score = 9/10
Track 7. ‘Again’ – Slovenian studio banter opens up the track which immediately shows up the poor production qualities ( it sounds like they’ve been locked in a wardrobe.) The song, which is not bad in itself, gets lost because of this. Has the potential to be much better. Score = 4/10
Track 9. ‘Hell Romance’ – A potentially nice high tempo rock effort which unfortunately suffers from over vocalisation in the verse while the bridge does nothing to set up the interesting chorus. The instrumentation is firmly in the background and needs to be more joined to the vocals in the mix. Score = 4/10
Okay! With the practical done and the scores of every song religiously totted up, the entire album came in at a slightly headturning, but eventually lost in the musical ether, 6/10.
However, limit the disc to three tracks, say ‘Darkman’, ‘Choose’, and ‘Adrenaline Rush’ and the whole takes on a different form being a seriously solid, potential underpant-moistening, 8/10.
Clearly less is more. Had Noxire sent through a 3 track demo they would comfortably be sitting on top of a very respectable 8/10 and would have this writer chaffing at the bit to hear more of them. In fact, with the aid of a slick CD cover and more polished press pack, they may even have squeezed one of those rare 9/10 scores, while, more importantly, finding themselves with useful tool to prize open a few record company doors.
As for Noxire themselves, considering their talent for writing a belter of a tune, I have a feeling we may be hearing a bit more from them in the near future!
Many thanks to Marcel and the rest of Noxire for being game guinea pigs in this little experiment – I’m off to get pissed on Thunderbird and throw stones through the my old maths teacher’s window.
Written by Habert on