Katarzyna NINa Górnisiewicz
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The 88's - Addiction (song review) |self-released, The 88's, 2013|
When somebody recommends you a new song and says 'it's metal', what do you usually expect? Most probably, dense heavy arrangements and dynamic, straightforward guitar riffs that support powerful vocals. The song by The 88's has most of these and more, since it's not such a typical metal track.
"Addiction" begins with a heavy and rhythmic mix written for the drums, guitar and vocals. The overall sound may fall under the category of 'sounds-a-bit-like-Metallica’. However, this passionate track has also a surprising acoustic side, based on soft melodic arrangements. This contrast instantly gave me an idea for an animated short, in which a line of fast driving tanks (illustrated by the heavy part of the track) splits in two. They part ways because a subtle female silhouette wearing a thin wavy white dress (symbolizing the softer arrangements) appears in their way.
There are also a professionally played guitar solo influenced by classic rock, as well as guitar parts drawing inspiration from Latin music. Both are very skillfully layered. Hand drums at the end bring an organic, slightly ritualistic feel.
The vocals sound rebellious, rough and stand out over the instrumental parts, as you would expect from hard rock and metal. As an interesting aside you should note that the song is bilingual. The heavy part sounds like an American metal track and is sung in English. The lyrics for all subtle arrangements are performed in French.
Finally, the song lasts a bit over 7 minutes. It's quite long considering radio airplay preferences, as well standards for potential hit songs. Still, the composition is solid throughout and includes everything to sound complete.
It should be noted that band has an international line-up. The members make music in China, Portugal, France and the US. Joe Mahone brings the hard rock/metal drive through excellent drumming, Pheel Duarte feeds the songs with dynamic vocals, while Luis Coelho enriches The 88's music with Latin guitar influences. The trio has been playing together since 2009 - first jamming, then starting a band and releasing an EP in 2011.
The band announced they'd be presenting songs from the most recent, 2nd EP during their incoming tour through Europe, Asia and Australia in 2014. Therefore, you'll have an opportunity to see them live. If you can't however, there are still a few videos from their shows on official The 88's YouTube channel.
(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, Fabryka Music Magazine, January 22nd, 2014. Proofreading: Mike 'Vesper' Dziewoński)