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Tower Of Rome All Is Lost...

Tower Of Rome - All Is Lost...
01. They Say She Died Because She Was Too Honest
02. Real Teamwork Means You Pull Your Knife Out Of My Back While I Push Mine Deeper Into Yours
03. I Want My Fifty Dollars
04. Girls That Smoke Gross Me Out To The Max MP3
05. This Is A Film About A Ghost
06. I Screamed Alot On October Fifteenth
07. Chicagi Chicagi I Think I'm Going To Blow My Own Head Off Now
08. This Is The Worst Time To Run Out Of Matches
09. The Only Attainable Truth That Comes To Mind Right Now
10. I Guess Moods Just Go With The Seasons Around Here
11. We Put The Fun In Funeral
2004 HeWhoCorrupts Inc.

Reviewed by: Atticus Culver-Rease   //   Published: 1/1/2005

With few songs breaking the one-minute mark, Tower of Rome's debut, All Is Lost, All Is Lost, All Is Yet To Be Found, packs so many jagged movements into 60 seconds that it's like watching someone over-stuff an impossibly tiny suitcase. Tempos and riffs are slammed up against each other, fractured and hastily glued back together to dizzying effect. The band seems convinced that yes, this will all fit, just bring me some duct tape. But by the time this nine minute-long album had blown past me for the first time, I still wasn't sure whether or not I agreed with them.

Tower of Rome shift abruptly from spastic full-speed thrashing to mosh-oriented chugging and then back again, rarely hesitating on a riff long enough to really let it take root before they've moved on to something completely different. Usually they don't even bother with any sort of transitions between parts so much as they just suddenly stop playing one riff and start playing the next one, regardless of how disconnected the two might be. I imagine their songwriting process goes something like this: write a couple dozen riffs, stick them on a wall, and throw darts to determine what order to play them in. You never know where they might go next and it leads to a disorienting, manic experience. Whether or not you enjoy the erratic songwriting that ensues is probably what will make or break Tower of Rome for you.

While bands like Daughters and Pig Destroyer have harnessed this kind of frenzy and capitalized on it, with Tower of Rome it feels like the chaos gets beyond their control a little too often, and ultimately sounds amateurish. It wouldn't sound quite so thrown together if the band had tried to differentiate the songs from one another more than they do. The tracks often blend into each other so much that this could just as easily have been one long song instead of 11 short ones. The high points of the record are the songs that do set themselves apart a little bit, such as "The Only Attainable Truth That Comes To Mind Right Now," which gives some of its riffs a little more time to grow, and breaks up the stop-and-start attack that comprises most of the album, by adding a moodier interlude before the finale crashes down.

Speaking of amateurish, the vocals on this record don't work for me. The pitch is constantly wavering out of control in a desperately high-pitched scream that sounds reminiscent of Overcome, and just doesn't fit with the rest of the band. The raw, untrained sincerity of imperfection can sometimes be a valuable part of a vocalist's style, but this one misses the mark.

The record also suffers from lackluster production. The kick drum is a dull thud, the snare lacks the snap that it ought to have, the low-end is too flat, and the treble is too tinny. On the positive side, the bass guitar does have an interesting fuzzed-out tone to it, the drumming is tight and there are moments of stand-out guitar work, such as the opening to "This Is A Film About A Ghost."

Bottom Line: This record ambushed and intrigued me a little bit upon first listen, but unfortunately it doesn't turn out to be all that satisfying in the end. It sounds haphazard and ultimately there's just nothing that special here. These guys have only been a band for about a year, so maybe with time they'll improve their songwriting and develop a better idea of where to take their sound. Perhaps then they could deliver something exciting, but so far they've yet to turn their ideas into cohesive songs or an interesting album.

theguyfromcameo_   posted 6/20/2005 2:33:08 AM
The reviewer is a c-ck-punch, but a good writer. The vocals are fine, and this band is great. the cd is a 7 or an 8...
gay_   posted 3/20/2005 12:44:17 PM
gay_   posted 3/20/2005 12:44:06 PM
gay_   posted 3/20/2005 12:43:56 PM
gay_   posted 3/20/2005 12:43:38 PM

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