Screw the mainstream if you really want to get your rocks off you have to go to the underground. That's just what we plan to do with this series, take some of the best emerging bands that are out blowing away hardcore fans on the underground music scene.
the Union – American Dream
I must admit that my opinions on this band have made several u-turns on the road to a conclusion. When I looked at the band name and song titles I was skeptical, but by about the third second of the first song I had changed my mind completely. The guitarists were unbelievable and the drums were incredible. I was just preparing to get up and spend a happy 45 minutes head banging, when the singer started. Well, I say singer but perhaps “gurgler” would be more appropriate. It was exceedingly disappointing. I managed to retain a vague hope that it might improve until the chorus, at which point I realised he wasn’t going to stop and nor was it a joke. He seems incapable of holding a note for more than a few seconds, so every line ends in a sort of strange descending slide, he is rarely in tune and when he is I think it’s probably an accident, and is generally devoid of any vague semblance of talent. It is possible that he believes it adds interest, spice and a heavy metal vibe to the songs, in which case someone really needs to tell him that it probably would if he only added a pinch of it. The best curries have taste and other things in than the sauce, just like all the best songs have a tune as well as adrenaline. Or, if that seems like too dangerous a thing to tell a man who sounds like he has spent every hour of his life since he was about five smoking and drinking everything from tea to turps, then please point him in the direction of Bruce Dickinson, Iron Maiden. He managed to generate excellent songs and strong vocals without sounding like he was singing through a mouthful of marbles, and was trained as an opera singer. There are one or two redeeming songs on the album, like Are You on My Side, or Why We Fight so Much, a song where the intended tune is almost visible through the many layers of over-exaggerated huskiness. Every song where the guitar plays more than the singer is a mind-blowing song to listen to, but the others ruin the entire album. The rest of the band are incredible, and deserve a far better front man. This one is only going to drag them down into the terrible abyss of permanent obscurity, and that really would be a shame.
Demosthenes is antiMUSIC's new UK correspondent.