Limp Bizkit ruined it for everyone.
Hack rap/rocker Fred Durst, among others,
brought the idea of incorporating a hip-hop style DJ into the modern
band dynamic. Trend setter? I guess...but all trends aren’t good. Witness
the retro/swing movement of the late 90s.
What does that have to do with Crossfade’s
debut, you ask? Well, I’m glad you asked. Before Crossfade, there was nothingness.
This isn’t meant to sound quasi-biblical. Noodling around in the Columbia,
South Carolina music scene in the early 90s as The Nothingness, Crossfade
didn’t find their major league groove until they opened themselves up to
a musical makeover that brought them to Tony Byroads, a recently-removed
Buffalo-area alum and aspiring DJ/Sampler/Vocalist.
But unlike the heavy-handedness of band
scratchers DJ Lethal (Limp Bizkit) or DJ Homicide (Sugar Ray), Tony Byroads...gladly
absent the obligatory death-infused nickname....and Crossfade’s DJ usage
is subtle which is sure to make fans of legit hard rock bands who see roadies
setting up the DJ booth on stage applaud. In fact, you’d be hard
to pinpoint any hip-hop sampler trappings on Crossfade’s self-titled major
label release. What you will find is a heavy metal band giving you
the best they have to offer through the first phase of their early song
writing process. There are some misses, but there are more hits.
“Cold,” the first release is probably the
best hard rock apology since Seven Mary Three quickly burst on the alternative
scene with “Cumbersome” and just as quickly disappeared. Singer/guitarist
Ed Sloan is a real singer. His voice is strong and solid. He doesn’t shy
away from challenging vocal runs and interesting turns of phrase.
Defrosting into “So Far Away” Crossfade
turn up the energy a notch and give a chance for drummer Brian Geiger a
chance to shine within the song setting. “Crossfade’s” website and parent
company are pushing the first three tracks from the album, but listeners
would be left out they didn’t experience “Colors” a mid-tempo hard rock
gem Trust Company would be envious of.
Uneven tracks lead into the surprising
and under-rated “Disco.’ Rap/Rock meets Rage Against The Machine in this
song that is sure to have live audiences hopping mad with it’s mosh chorus.
Ed Sloan and company’s first stab at making
their mark in a crowded metal scene is impressive. Like a MLB team touting
their fabulous farm system only time will tell if Crossfade’s song writing
prospects live up to their potential.
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