The Height of Callousness
Spineshank’s newest CD is much more focused on “the song” than the group’s 1998 debut, Strictly Diesel, was. If you crave incredibly loud drums with detuned guitars and some forward-thinking programming—à la some of the new bands currently popular on FM radio (Linkin Park, Apartment 26, Disturbed)—then Spineshank will not disappoint. But that’s not the best part, ’cause here we also get blasting vocals mixed with very intricate melodies. Check “New Disease” and “Synthetic” for a sampling of singer Jonny Santos and bassist Rob Garcia’s vocal capabilities. That said, I’ve listened to this CD about 100 times and I hear elements of Fear Factory. OK, there it is, I’ve said it: Fear Factory. That’s pretty tough, ’cause Burton Bell and that gang are pretty hard to come close to. But these guys do it. I’ve seen Spineshank twice and the band is good live, but the entire package as presented here doesn’t come off quite as well from the stage; it’s hard to get a great balance between live sound and programmed stuff in the clubs. No matter: Spineshank delivers on this disc.