Pain Tolerance- A Momentary Act of Disclosure
By Josh Kruk
With every music genre, there are leaders
and there are followers. Only to be followed by the 3rd string. While the
3rd string may be good at what they are doing, they appear a day late and
dollar short to the show as a trend is winding down. 3rd String is
a series where we look at these late comers to see if they have what it
takes to keep a genre in the public mind or act as one of the final nails
in that genre's coffin.
Remember the band No One? No?
Remember Crossfade? Still nothing? How about Adema? Ahh yes, there
we go, you do remember them. What do all these bands have in common?
Trite, overused guitar riffs coupled with rehashed lyrics and vocal patterns,
something that has become known as “nu-metal.” Plenty of bands have
been unfairly lumped in with some of the manufactured bands in the metal
genre, but there are a good amount of bands that deserve the generalizations
and criticism that they get. In comes Pain Tolerance, a band that
apparently is four years behind the trend curve and still thinks that the
old formula will gain them notoriety. Just perusing the track listing
of their CD is enough to see the direction where it’s headed. Song
titles such as “Just Go”, “Left Behind” and “Wounded” make it clear that
this band has put absolutely no thought into attracting an audience.
Taking a listen to the CD will further reinforce this point.
The CD opens up with the song “Just Go”,
a song that sounds like something Korn wrote when they were 16 years old
and had just picked up their instruments for the first time. The
generic “slow verse, hard chorus” pattern has been overdone to the point
of being offensive, yet apparently Pain Tolerance feels it will work just
fine. Track two, entitled “Severed” goes further into sounding like
a cheap Korn rip off, with a generic build up then heavy break down to
close out this contrived monstrosity of a song. Track 3 brings us
a song called “Place To Hide” which gives us a clear picture of the lyrical
miscues that haunt this album. Lyric writing has been marred by a
complete lack of subtlety, and Pain Tolerance follows along with this with
a hackneyed refrain where the singer gripes about being “buried deep inside
my mind” and recognizes “I know I’m insecure.” It was Oscar Wilde
who wrote, “From genuine feeling comes bad poetry” however this idea does
not and should not apply to a full length, twelve-song album. This
train wreck keeps moving into the song “Alone” where the singer asks, “What
is wrong with me? Why do I feel cold inside?” We the listening audience
ask the same question, what IS wrong with you and why do you make US feel
cold inside with your mind numbingly formulaic songwriting?
Track 5 brings us about 20 seconds of
decent music as the opening riff of the song “Alone” is the first piece
of tolerable music you will hear on this CD. Don’t worry, for Pain
Tolerance ruins it by switching up their ripping off Korn strategy to more
of a ripping off Staind strategy. By Staind I mean from the album
Dysfunction, not new, hopeful Staind from 14 Shades Of Grey.
The chorus of “Alone” is your typical family life, bad childhood whining
of “here is the child that you left behind” and discussing “the family
life that I never knew.” As we move towards the end of the album,
nothing really changes. There are plenty of overused lyrical phrases
and themes that appear throughout music today, such as “save me from myself”
or discussing “a life filled with strife.” Pain Tolerance grabs another
one of these clichés for the refrain of “Deceit” as the singer wails,
“I can’t stand to let you in.” However, this song does show signs
of decent musicianship, as the song is very slow and brooding at times.
The closing track entitled “Change” follows along this path and this is
where the band starts to shine a little. While lyrically there is
still work to be done, the slower, more thought out parts of these final
two songs show that maybe there is hope for this band if they were to choose
to move in a new direction. In fact, the final song on the CD is
the most enjoyable for it does not once attempt to get heavy or go into
any of the previously mentioned formulas. Perhaps the band should
realize what they do well and what they don’t do well. Unfortunately
for Pain Tolerance, A Momentary Act Of Disclosure focuses on the
bands musical weaknesses far more than areas where they excel, and that
term is being used loosely.
Music today is at a point where a band
is not really given time to develop. Their early albums must be a
hit and gain a fan base or they are cut loose. Pain Tolerance has
a lot of work to do or they will end up like many of their fallen nu-metal
brethren. Until then, there are albums out there that have already
excelled at what Pain Tolerance is trying to do. If this album even
mildly intrigues you, do yourself a favor and go buy Korn’s self titled
debut or their second CD Life Is Peachy. Couple that along
with Staind’s major label debut Dysfunction and you will have exactly
what Pain Tolerance hopes to be. These albums were landmarks in dark
music for a new generation until the market became tarnished; yet they
stand the test of time even today. Pain Tolerance can only hope to
retool their ways and leave A Momentary Act Of Disclosure in the
graveyard as a failed experiment in early band development.
A Momentary Act of Disclosure
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