Default - One Thing Remains Review
by Dan Upton
Show of hands: who remembers "Wasting My Time" or "Deny" from Default's 2001 debut The Fallout? That's right, you could hardly get away from them, as fellow Canadians Nickelback were coming into the peak of their popularity, and not only did Default cop Nickelback's sound, Chad Kroeger had a big part of their getting signed. Now, does anybody remember anything they've done since then? Sure, 2003's Elocation had a few good songs, but it was a mostly-forgettable sophomore slump of a CD.
Generally speaking, it seems that if a band survives through a disappointing second release, they get back on track and come back strong on the third. Unfortunately, that can't really be said of Default. The first time through the CD, the majority of my thoughts on it were along the lines of, "Wow, this is boring." The information on their website claims they reinvented themselves as a band and that they wanted to return to the "heavier" sound combined with melody that worked so well for them on The Fallout. Too bad the only song that's really true of is "Hiding From the Sun," which incidentally is by far the best track on the disc. The opening track, "All is Forgiven," has interesting dynamics between ethereal strumming and some heavier punctuated moments and could have been a nice warm-up had they actually gone the heavier route.
As it stands, the whole affair is rather dull. Don't get me wrong, there are hooks galore on this release, and I did find myself singing along by the third chorus of one of the songs when I first listened, but it was more like it was something in the back of my mind that I'd known forever. I really wanted to like this release; I had hoped that as the band has matured over three releases they might have gotten away from the Nickelback sound. Instead, with weak songs and with Nickelback's new CD hitting the shelves at about the same time, I can't imagine this doing well with anybody other than those who are already big fans of the band. If you just like the sound, you'd be better off with your copy of The Fallout or one of Nickelback's older releases.
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Default - One Thing Remains
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