Fled Five Review
by Matthew Hastie
It's hard when you are on the verge of being big in the music industry. You'll have hundreds of fans, maybe thousands. But there is a reason why you haven't made it. Michigan's Fled Five is unfortunately in this position. With several stunning albums under their belts, their self titled offering is a step in a new direction. Except it's more like taking too big of a step down some stairs.
Their self-titled album is an all around good rock record. I've heard it described as a mix of Godsmack, Crossfade, Nickleback, and Black Label Society. Outside of the heavy riffing, I really don't see most of these comparisons. Fled Five stand solid together, but they do fall a bit short on this disc. Several of the songs sound very contrived and typical to the sound they play, which is upsetting that they can't overcome the typical. Songs like "Payback" and "Stand" sound more like the bastard son of Creed/Alter Bridge (I'm talking about Tremonti, Marshall, and Phillips) and Corrosion of Conformity. "Stand" though doesn't feel original at all. I've heard the phrase "Don't turn your back on me" and that general angst about a million times, especially in old Nu-Metal, and that is a genre no one wants to be associated with.
Other songs though like "Good Man Gone Bad" sounds a bit like Mudvayne and Thornly. This is probably the best track on the CD; it has a great acoustic riff very reminiscent of "Fall Into Sleep" by the aforementioned Mudvayne. There are great vocals, though a bit typical, and they really tear it up during the chorus. The song kicks into full gear after the first chorus and has a blues/metal vibe for the rest of the song. Another killer track is "Can I Figure Out", which features some delayed clean guitar at the beginning, and then followed by some good riffing and good vocals. It sadly though features a very unimaginative guitar solo which does knock it down some.
As far as the band goes everything sounds pretty decent, the drums are a bit lacking though. Especially if they are tending more towards the heavier side, they might want to up the drums a bit more. They sound deficient and uninspired throughout most of the record, but everything fits. It's just a part of writing the typical song, the drums and guitars will always sound the same. I think that Fled Five is making the right step, but they come up short. They are doing half of what's safe and the other half is a bit of a held back jump. The band is very tight and play well off of each other, but their songs sound too much like major label bands. While these bands are all great in their own respects, they aren't huge and popular and therefore a major label won't be looking for their carbon copies. If you are going to stick with the riffing, go full force a head and write some more original songs.
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