August 31, 2006

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Vaeda, State of Nature
Playtyme Records, 2006

Genre-splicing of nu-metal and emo, blurring the line further by competing not uncleverly at both. Matter of fact it’s almost as though they used a stopwatch to guarantee equal time: kickoff track “Money” wraps its head around Disturbed’s game plan down to just about the last X and O, but then comes the early-Taking Back Sunday-like “All For You,” a puff-chested WWE-good-guy jingle that’s only missing videotape of choreographed Power Rangers beating up monsters to it. That may sound simple enough, but these fellas do know their way around a changeup if the deadpanned Seal and ELO passages in “Battle Song” are any indication, never mind the shoegaze guitars that open “Jesus Rides the Subway.” All this marginal innovation (sure to be lost on its intended audience) stubs a toe on its own rigid humorlessness sometimes, and if the band had really wanted to get the kids going, a few bars of skate-core boombox-rapture might have gone a long way. B-

— Eric W. Saeger


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