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3rd String: 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. 
 



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