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Endstand - The Time is Now Review

by Matthew Hastie

It's always a breath of fresh air when you hear an underground band. We deal with prefabrication on a daily basis on the radio and it's always nice to be reminded that Simon Cowell doesn't have a complete say in what is and isn't recorded. As long as I have actively enjoyed music, underground and lesser-known major label bands have always been a personal favorite of mine. Endstand is a perfect example.

Most people claim that rock music is old and tired; I've even heard that Hardcore is close to being dead and over. Well a band like Endstand will come in the room and kick all the naysayers in the balls. Their new album The Time is Now is a great testament to underground music. Now, I'm not going to put these gents up on a pedestal because they still have a long way to go before they reach both a major label and their perfected sound. They are no Nirvana or Pearl Jam, and they are no Linkin Park yet. I name these bands because like it or not they changed the face of music.

Bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam have done exactly what Endstand does, gain a huge underground following. Their songs are fast, furious, and inventive. I still wonder though what they are going to sound like two or three albums from now. It seems that a true band will sound vastly different a few albums later, but we do find that a good portion of bands like telling us what to like. The best thing any band can do is gain a group of people who will like you before you get your 15 minutes of fame, and therefore hopefully still like you afterward.

Key tracks on the album include "Way Out", "Right From The Start", "Empty Promises', and "Sometimes Dreams Might Come True". They definitely show that while Endstand has proved themselves as fantastic musicians, they still have room to grow. The soaring opening track "Way Out" is the kick in the balls I stated earlier, but it does sound as though they are still borrowing from other bands. Lead singer Janne sounds a bit strained on the song, and while it does convey a message of chaos that's what it is. The vocal mixing doesn't present much legibility to the vocals and it's hard to hear exactly what he is trying to say. On other tracks though like "Empty Promises" and "Sometimes Dreams Might Come True" the vocals shine brightly and sound magnificent. As for the rest of the band, the guitars do sound a little thoughtless at times, but they definitely stand out in "Right From The Start" and "Way Out". It would be nice to hear a little bit more for drummer Jani, who lays down some great fills, but is still lacking his own identity as a drummer. All in all though, The Time is Now is a great album and shows that Endstand has some great potential, but like all great underground bands, still has a lot of growing to do.

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