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Neat - 80%

celldweller, April 25th, 2005

I was rather surprised when I looked this band up on here, and there was only one review for them. Honestly, if you're the slightest bit into metal that's not in the mainstream, you've at least heard the name "Galactic Cowboys". I picked up this disc simply because I had heard it described as 'weird'. I mostly enjoy thrash (which is partially what makes this album so listenable to me (and if you know what this band sounds like and you're asking to yourself 'Thrash?! What the fuck?!" I'll explain in a moment.)) I believe this band is mislabled under the 'genre' heading of this site, as what is heard here was much more than just 'melodic power metal'. This band makes an effort to be different, and not everyone will have the ability to grasp it and get what they're doing, but perhaps it is better this way. What is heard here is a progressive metal band combining the following elements; power-thrash metal, in the vain of early Metal Church, with a very high sense of melody, throwing in acoustic guitars, and almost constant barbershop 50's era quartet vocals. Now blending older Metallica-styled stuff with barbershop quartet vocals may make you sit there and think you know what it is this band sounds like, however, it's not really until you hear them that you really get a feel for how it sounds in reality.

So, as with prog-band, it's sort of like coffee. At first, the vocals heard here will throw you off and make you go "what the fuck?" and make you take out the disc almost immediately a minute into the first song. But, after you acquire the taste, try to get what's going on, eventually, you'll like this band more and more, but you have to give them a chance... multiple chances at that. When people ask "What's the first song I should hear off this album?" the answer is generally 'If I were a Killer', the heaviest offering off of "Space In Your Face". But, I sort of feel that that kind of thing would be misleading, as while I did describe the metal heard here as similar to power-thrash to Metal Church, speed is really not that common of an occurence (I guess you have to hear it ... =/). The song I'd reccomend would be 'You Make Me Smile', as it is just as heavy as 'If I were A Killer', but the melodic vocals have much more of a presence on this song that is similar to other songs on the album, wheras 'If I were a Killer' only features the vocals when the guys say "If I were a Killer" in the chorus.

The songs that are best on this album from a heavy standpoint are Space In Your Face/You Make Me Smile, If I Were a Killer, and Circles in the Fields. The reason I gave this album an 80 instead of 100 though, is because the rest of the songs in general are sort of have constant melodic rock, then all of a sudden jumping to the uptempo metal heard in the three previously mentioned best songs. Some may find this to be rather a tough transition to follow, but really ... you just have to listen to it, listen to it, and listen to it some more. Finally, it will come to you "That's why they put that there". All these songs have a fair amount of metal in them that is power-thrash or "We want to be Metallica" moments as the previous reviewer stated. About Mrs. Leslie I feel blends the acoustic and metal guitars nicely in the same song on the verses and chorus, and it naturally builds to the crunchy instrumental center of the song. Ranch on Mars (a hidden track), is pretty slow (for me metal doesn't necessarily have to be fast), with a nice solo toward the middle in it, and melodic vocals throughout, but they throw in this blues harp, and cheesy keyboard effect, this again may throw people off, but it's this band being weird, you just have to adjust. Still Life of Peace (the other hidden track) starts off with a cool riff that gets returned to every so often in the song, but also has weird percussion and stuff heard throughout as well. No Problems I also like, though it starts off with a rather soft guitar part, it transforms into an upbeat metal song with well sung vocals, and a chorus that tones things down a bit before reintensifying into the upbeat part on the verses. In fact I like every song because I've give them time to grow on me EXCEPT I Do What I Do ... which starts out pretty cool, but is probably the softest song on the album.

And when you get to thinking the barbershop vocals detract from the heaviness, after awhile you may just get like me and get to thinking it adds to it (!). If you want something truly original, and a band that will stay for you for life as you slowly progress from hating what you hear to absolutely loving it and needing it almost daily, give this band a shot. Make an investment. Once you adjust, you'll never look back, but it takes work.