Friday, May 27, 2005

Out of Exile - First Impressions

Audioslave - Out of ExileI don't know if I can quite say that the new Audioslave album "rocks more furiously" (sorry Tom), but it seems to be a decent, if not exactly distinctive, release.

The first thing I noticed was the disc's length - under 55 minutes. I applaud Audioslave for trimming the fat, something most bands are incapable of doing these days. Their first album was far too long, and the caliber of the later songs on that disc make it almost impossible to listen to it in its entirety in one sitting.

Out of Exile has its share of groovin' songs ("Your Time has Come" and "Out of Exile") and your more ballad-y numbers a la "Like A Stone" ("Be Yourself"). Most welcome are the tunes that have some honest-to-goodness nifty songwriting, like "Doesn't Remind Me". This meticulous craftsmanship didn't appear on their debut album, so it's a welcome addition to this release.

Most refreshing is Morello's soloing. He's on fire here in a way that we haven't seen since Rage's self-titled effort. Not only does Morello make some of the coolest wonky noises we've heard (a feat, considering the amount of cool wonkiness on the Rage albums), but he performs lead fretwork on this disc that leaves burnt rubber in its wake. He does this on just about every track, and color me crazy, but I predict this won't harm the popularity of the album one bit. Take note Metallica - Tom proves that putting guitar solos on an album won't hurt your street cred.

Despite all of this, I just can't help but feel that this disc, like the last one, feels bland at times, even boring. It reminds me of latter day Soundgarden, which really isn't a great thing. It just never seems to have the ferocity of Rage's first album, the alternative uniqueness of Soundgarden's Louder Than Love, or the perfect blending of the two of Badmotorfinger. The album rocks at times, but it's a generic kind of rocking for the masses, and never seems to kick the doors down.


Post a Comment

<< Home