NEUROTICA - same - SMACK DOWN/KOCH
Boy was I certain this was going to be detestable even before hearing the music. The band's discovery by AC/DC's Brian Johnson and his subsequent production of the band's debut was not going to make a difference either. This being on WWE's Smack Down Records, and WWE being the bastion for white trash fakery and all things retarded, there was no legitimate reason to believe Neurotica will feed any emotional need other than wife beating. Then there was the band's name which famously rhymes with Geriatrica. Two car drives with Neurotica in the CD player later and this isn't half bad. Imagine a meeting of Jackyl/Slaughter with Prong. This is loud, forceful, brash and above all effective. In fact, unlike WWE (neé WWF) that's spawned this, this is not a fakery. Indeed the blokes can play.
It is hardly a surprise to those who remember Atheist - the band of neurotic singer Kelly Shaefer. What is surprising is the drastic change of style. The vocals are not the raspy thrash metal vocals metal fans know from Shaefer. The voice is more conventional and sung here. Do notice the System Of A Down resemblance on the opener Ride Of Your Life though. Neurotica delivers infectious melodies with enough lack of leads to satisfy the modern commercial sensibility. The sound is tight and the production top-notch. Special production kudos go to the drum sound whose snare sound is unlike the pots and pans tone of most modern drummers and whose bass drums are booming. Having said that, we would regard ourselves as remiss if we were not warn the reader that this is no hard rock masterpiece either. Lyrics like, 'my friends shit on you' (repeat) prove that. Neurotica's lapse, however, in no way impedes the hard rocking nature of the album and the pleasure of listening to this cruising down the highway.