ILL NIÑO – Confession

ILL NIÑO - Confession


Roadrunner Records
Release date: October 8, 2003

User Review
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Ill Niño’s latest release, Confession, plays like singer and lyricist Christian Machado’s personal expulsion of demons. In a large section of popular rock/metal, there is a whining movement going on. For some reason, kids dig hearing songs saying “I’m the victim, feel bad for me!” Bands like Papa Roach exemplify this piffle with their “Last Resort,” and all the new pop-punk bands singing about how their daddy was mean to them carries the whimpering flag along with faux moxie. Somehow, Ill Niño does the same thing without pandering or seeming contrived, and also throw together an album that will surprise people who disdain popular metal … ‘cuz it’s good.

“Te Amo … I Hate You,” is your average “girl, you done wrong by me, and I’m hurting.” Of course, the lyrics don’t quite go that way. Machado pens a more concise and brutal sentiment with, “Don’t try—telling all your fucking lies. ‘Cause I—make you eat your words and die.” Machado’s voice branches out to an almost death metal ledge on this tune, but his normal excessively calm, fluid and melodic delivery is the highpoint of the song during the chorus. And the belting out of “fuck you!” doesn’t hurt things.

“How Can I Live,” initially released on the Jason vs. Freddy soundtrack, encapsulates the overall Ill Niño sound. Lyrically, you cannot find fault with the subject matter or skill of the writing. Sometimes, words are just words, sometimes, they are poetry. “I know I’m just a copy that carries on the stain … but we make the same mistake … cuz we are one and the same,” falls into the latter category. Coupled with the poignant chorus, which by now you’ve probably heard a million times, you’ll hear a band finding and defining their sound. Just a great tune.

Going along with the actual “confession” and “daddy” theme, the song “Unframed” does a more realistic and honest job than other bands do in the same vein. “I’ve seen your face in pictures unframed …” pretty much says it all. Instead of seeking pity or asking “WHY ME?” the songs admits, “I need to take my life back.”

There is also a definite Latin vibe entrenched in this CD. The last song is a remake of “How Can I Live” done in Spanish, and most of the songs you’ll get a sentence or two of Spanish thrown in. Musically, you’ll hear Latin-tinged acoustic guitar playing amidst the regular heavy electric guitar. No, it doesn’t sound anything like Ricky Martin, in case anyone was wondering …

Ill Niño could be a hit machine. Their songs are chock-a-block full of hooks, sing-able and maybe a little too repetitive choruses, all the while being about just under 4 minutes. In other words, “radio friendly.” If they didn’t swear so convincingly in most of the songs, you’d think that is what they are going for. Instead, they offer up songs bereft of filler, that are well written and defiantly to the point. For the most part, each song is a confession unto itself, but you don’t have to get lost in the ranting if you just want to appreciate good heavy metal.

Oh, and get ready to get “ill” from hearing the song “Numb” over and over and over until something supersedes it from the top spot — if and when they release it. It has the same melancholy as Staind’s “It’s Been A While,” and is likely to tap into the “woe is me” undercurrent all the bitchers enjoy.

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