CARBON 9 – The Bull

CARBON 9 - The Bull
  • 6.5/10
    CARBON 9 - The Bull - 6.5/10


WorldSound Music
Release date: March 10, 2009

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

When Nine Inch Nails first rose to prominence, a bunch of bands that sounded a lot like them started to crop up. Some did a good job of flattering Trent and his band mates without seeming like complete, total posers. By no means is Carbon 9 a carbon copy of NIN, but they sure sound as if they were heavily inspired by them. Hailing from the so-called City of Angels, Carbon 9 has garnered attention in L.A. by being able to say they’ve headlined big name clubs like the Troubadour, the Whisky A-Go-Go, the Viper Room and a few others. Being able to say you’ve played in establishments such as these doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a great band. Some reviewers in Carbon 9’s neighborhood have gone so far as to refer to them as “the future of rock.” So, is the band really worthy of all the hype? Is there any need to be bullish about The Bull?

Carbon 9 is all about hard rock that’s heavily infused with industrial and electronic elements. They incorporate quite a lot of effects into their sound. Oftentimes, the other instruments seem to take a backseat to all the programming. When one of the members of a band (in this case, Danny Cistone) is credited with “performance art,” chances are good that you’re in for a very “digitized” listening experience. There are very few songs on this album that distinguish themselves from others. When an album clocks in at a little over 54 minutes, that can make for a pretty bland time. There are a few notable exceptions, but for the wrong reasons. One of the tracks that might raise a brow is a cover of Glenn Danzig’s “Mother”. Sadly, it doesn’t stand out for being performed with added gusto as much as it does for reminding listeners of how great a song the original is. The other number that stands out is a spoken word track which is intended to convey some sort of meaning. In the end though, it comes off sounding sort of forced.

As for performances, Stacey Quinealty, the band’s lead vocalist and “programmer,” does a good enough job of singing with emotion and angst. The guitars by Darwin DeVitis come off pretty heavy but sound consistently the same. The rhythm section of Matt Milani (drums) and Omar Brancato (bass) put in a nice performance. However, everyone comes off sounding rather dull. Nobody really stands out for having a stellar performance or putting forth a great effort. That’s not to say that sound quality is poor. If anything, the opposite is true. The album was mixed by Frank Gryner (Perfect Circle, Rob Zombie, Tommy Lee) and sounds excellent. Everything’s precisely where you’d expect it to be. Alas, that can also be a major downfall for an album. It most certainly is for this one, as there’s nothing on this here that hasn’t already been done or heard before. Perhaps Carbon 9 needs to let loose and try to be more original. They’ve got enough ability to put together an album that’s better than this. If they didn’t try to sound so much like their idols, they might just come up with something a little more exciting.

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