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Hour Cast - State of Disgrace Review

by Dan Upton

My first experience with Hour Cast was actually as the opening band for Sevendust and Soil a few months ago. They weren't listed on the bill, they started way earlier than normal for the venue, and I was late getting to the show anyway, so I missed most of their set. What I did see wasn't particularly impressive, but I thought maybe it was just a side effect of the generally lousy sound mix and such that the first opener gets, so when the review copy came around I thought I'd give them another shot. They claim a mix of influences such as Tool, Nine Inch Nails, and Depeche Mode that might make for interesting music, so why not?

Unfortunately, this 4-piece actually shows very little in the way of influences from those groups. Use of piano/keyboards on some of the songs, and some ambient programming aside, the disc is a pretty generic entry that could be generously categorized under alternative metal. There are some legitimately fairly heavy tracks, such as "God Failed" with its churning drop-tuned riffing, but most of the tracks are hoping to gain the "heavy" tag solely from the drop-tuned, bass-heavy and heavily-distorted guitars and the rough vocals of both the naturally-slightly-rough and screaming-on-top-of-clean varieties. On the other end of things is the ballad "Lunar," which I believe they announced on stage as the panty-dropper... a rather generic "I only want you" kind of tune including the confusing line "And I just wanna live on the moon 'cause it's better without you." (Fully in context I suppose it makes more sense, but when it was the first line of the song I actually caught I couldn't understand how that was supposed to be sweet.)

Vaguely heavy in a radio-friendly manner, melodic with plenty of hooks on songs like "Lunar," "Almost Like Life," and "3rd of July," I can see Hour Cast doing fairly well. And while that means this would be a good segue into a rant about the current state of music, on the other hand, good for them. It's worth a listen or two, and a reasonably good stepping stone you might set on someone's path to heavier music, but in the grand scheme of things it's nothing special.

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