Favorite

Strapping Young Lad 

Alien (Century Media)

Strapping Young Lad's Devin Townsend includes exclamation points in his liner-note lyrics, and his deranged delivery justifies the ostentatious punctuation. He chants "Fight!", screams "No!!", and rants about "Science!!! . . . and . . . Math!!!" in a tone that would make even the strictest homework-before-play parents back away from the door.

Townsend's manic intensity matches his band's imprisoned-in-darkness riffs and shooting-gallery percussion. Even when Townsend suddenly starts crooning, his jarringly smooth vocals reinforcing the impact of the already-massive choruses, the backdrop keeps thrashing.

Alien sticks to Strapping Young Lad's heavy-guitars-and-cresting-keys formula, with two notable exceptions. "Two Weeks," a crystalline psychedelic number filled with cryptic questions, feels like a transitional tune on a Pink Floyd concept album, while the album-ending "Info Dump" buries Townsend's talking voice under 10 minutes of malevolent mechanical fuzz. These tracks represent the opposite ends of Strapping Young Lad's sonic spectrum; on the rest of the band's tunes, melody and discord meet midway.

Latest in CD Reviews

More by Andrew Miller

  • What a Spectacle!
  • What a Spectacle!

    Xtina is the world's greatest entertainer.
    • Apr 11, 2007
  • Fuck the Facts

    With Xrin Arms, Insurrect, and Concordia Discors. Saturday, April 7, at the Beachland Tavern.
    • Apr 4, 2007
  • Chris Difford

    Thursday, March 8, at the Winchester.
    • Mar 7, 2007
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Calendar

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Staff Pick Events

Facebook Activity

© 2015 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 241-7550
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.


Website powered by Foundation