/ Universal Records
Not Like You
Lifer’s debut album marks the first time
Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson handled production duties outside of his own
band. If you are expecting a progressive hard rock sound like Rush’s, you
might be disappointed. On the other hand, if you are looking for powerful
modern metal in the tradition of Soulfly meets Tool then you are in luck.
If you like nu-metal then Lifer is a shoe-in for your CD collection. They
pack a lot of punch with heavy guitar riffs and powerful yet melodic vocals.
They follow the nu-metal formula for the most part but at times you hear
a glimpse of prog and speed metal. Unfortunately they did dabble a bit
in the rap-core field, if that doesn’t do it for you there are plenty of
other tracks to choose from.
From the opening bars of "My Room" to the
closing notes of "Perfect" the 13 tracks on Lifer's debut shows the world
that the band has come to play and are unrelenting in their quest to turn
heads while taking modern heavy rock to a new level.
All in all, a great debut album from a
band that should have no problem making a name for themselves with nu-metal
listening over the
thirteen tracks that make up lifer's self-titled debut is like going on
a serious headtrip into the darker side of reality. songs like
"ugly," "swallow" and "disbelief", "take you into overlooked far corners
of the mind that are sometimes better left to the imagination. lead
singer nick coyle's unrelenting lyrics are laid over a thick bed of growling
guitars, pounding rhythms, and turntable wizardry that walks the line between
angry melodicism and monster riffs.
it 's been a strange
journey for the pennsylvania fivesome now known as lifer. the band
you hear today only began a little more than two years ago at the start
of 1999, originally as a foursome. by halloween of that year they
had added tony kruszka and the quintet was complete. though they
were quietly amassing a wealth of original material, they were limited
to playing mostly cover tunes under the name strangers with candy.
so, when mtv came looking for talent for their "ultimate cover band contest,"
the band signed up and soon found themselves sweeping the competition under
the rug and snatching away the grand prize with a raucous cover of limp
bizkit's "nookie." "our lives changed overnight," coyle
remembers. "our email boxes started blowing up and people from all
over the states were writing us and saying 'we saw you on mtv and
we love you.' it was kind of funny, a lot of young girls were in
love with us for playing 45 seconds of another band's song. we were just
like 'what are you talking about?"
to capitalize on
the momentum, the band released a 7-song ep of their own compositions entitled
no need to sate fan demand and reverse anyone's thoughts that they were
nothing more than a glorified karaoke machine. though labels had
already been calling, when the ep debuted at #4 in pennsylvania, republic
came to do serious business. after signing on the dotted line, the
band changed their name to lifer to avoid confusion with the sketch comedy
show strangers with candy. "we would always make reference to people
in the area where we grew up who got a job at a factory and stayed there
forever. that's what a lifer is," explains coyle.
with a new name and
more than ready to get into the studio to show the world their own atypical
take on new metal, the band moved to begin recording their debut asap.
they chose rush guitarist alex lifeson to helm the project after meeting
him and being impressed with his down-to-earth demeanor and genuine eagerness.
it was lifeson's first production gig outside of rush, but neither he nor
the band was intimidated by the task that lay before them. after
a quick week of pre-production fleshing out the songs with lifeson' s input,
the band holed themselves up at longview farms in rural massachusetts where
creed, aerosmith, the rolling stones, and limp bizkit had all tracked albums.
"it's nice, because it's out in the middle of nowhere so you don't have
any distractions," fink said. "you get up in the morning and go downstairs
and you're in the studio."
the band was comfortable
with lifeson behind the board, trusting his knowledge and intuition.
"alex was more of a musical mentor, whereas a lot of producers are babysitters"
fink states. the band laid down 13 tracks that take their cues from across
the metal spectrum, paying tribute to the influences of tool, godsmack,
deftones, and faith no more. "i think our influences come from everything.
not just music, but tv, movies, there's music in everything, "coyle states.
"whether you know it or not, you're head's always picking stuff up."
if you're looking
for that voice in the darkness to lead the way, you've found it in lifer.
the trip might leave you battered and bruised, but you'll find that enlightenment
you've been so desperately seeking.
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Album Art and Bio courtesy
of Lifer and Universal Records. All Rights Reserved by Copyright holder.