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1. Blackened - Metallica
2. Kickstart My Heart - Mötley Crüe
3. Day I Tried To Live - Soundgarden
4. Bicycle Race - Queen
5. Three Of A Perfect Pair - King Crimson
6. Us And Them - Pink Floyd
7. Geek U.S.A - The Smashing Pumpkins
8. Forced March - Earth Crisis
9. Territory - Sepultura
10. Change - Blind Melon
11. Malpractice - Faith No More
12. Little 15 - Depeche Mode
13. Cemetary Gates - Pantera
14. Colorblind - Counting Crows
Reviewed by: Cory
// Published: 7/10/2006
The only thing I can think of lamer than a tribute album is a band deciding that they need to record an entire album themselves of cover songs. It's a bizarre cross between self-importance, shameless moneygrubbing and naivete that just boggles the mind. With The Anatomy Of, Between The Buried And Me have set out to showcase just how diverse their musical influences are by alternating between some of the most obvious choices available and some of the most random ones possible. The result is a disc that, like most covers and tribute albums, is inconsistent at best and, even at its best, completely disposable.
I understand that Between The Buried And Me are on Ozzfest this year and would like to have a new release out there while they have the attention of potential new fans, but this album is just plain unnecessary. It starts off with a pretty strong rendition of Metallica's "Blackened" from the ...And Justice For All album and goes rapidly downhill from there, running the gamut from ridiculous (Motley Crue's "Kickstart My Heart," Blind Melon's "Change") to legendary (Pink Floyd's "Us And Them," Queen's "Bicycle Race") without ever seeming relevant in any way. If BTBAM really wanted people to know who their influences were, they could have just done an interview instead of duping their fans into paying for this record.
Another unfortunate problem with The Anatomy Of is that the band is taking themselves way too seriously. This is the most straightforward set of cover songs I've ever heard, which might be kind of cool in a live setting, but on record it just turns out boring. Aside from a few places where harsh growls replace singing, BTBAM do surprisingly little to make these songs their own, opting instead to play many of them verbatim. Tommy Rogers is no Dave Gahan or Chris Cornell and he's certainly no Freddie Mercury, so his attempt to emulate their vocal styles on their respective songs proves nearly as annoying as his electronic side-project Giles.
It's no shock that some of the better stuff here is their version of songs by the two bands that they bear the most similarity to stylistically: Earth Crisis and Sepultura. Now these aren't exactly gems, but they are the kind of thing that I wouldn't mind hearing as a B-side or bonus track on an import release. Additionally, their take on Faith No More's "Malpractice" is pretty much the only really adventurous performance on the disc and it definitely helped it stand out on an otherwise lackluster disc.
The are two things I do give Between The Buried And Me a lot of credit for in regards to this record. The first is the musicianship, which is spot on in every instance. While it might not be that impressive in the context of a Motley Crue cover, their versions of King Crimson's "Three of a Perfect Pair" and Pantera's "Cemetary Gates" are both good examples of just how talented these guys are. The second thing that surprised me about the record was that the band didn't seem embarassed to admit their love of mid-90's mainstream rock, something many metal artists and fans might be a bit taken aback by. The band's inclusion of a Counting Crows cover (previously recorded for the Dead and Dreaming tribute album) was not particularly surprising to me though, because the band's name is actually taken from a lyric from the song "Ghost Train," off their ridiculously successful debut August and Everything After.
Bottom Line: I consider myself a fan of Between The Buried And Me, especially since being blown away by Alaska, but this record is nearly dreadful on every level imaginable. If you're a diehard fan of the band, I'd urge you not to pick it up just so you don't lose respect for them. It barely works as a novelty and holds almost no replay value whatsoever.
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