Module are a new wavey rock band from Houston, and this is
their debut EP. The EP contains 4 songs, so let's take a look
at each before i draw conclusions about the band.
The EP starts off with Grounded. This song has some
intense guitar work that is almost gothy. Almost -- think more
Joy Division less Sisters Of Mercy. The vocals here are slightly
gravelly and yet still rich. They really remind me of John Doe
in a way. There is some cymbol heavy drumming that has a strange
wavering tone to it. On the whole, this song works. It's catchy
and upbeat, with a good drumbeat and a nice insistent bass riff.
The guitar is a barely heard rhythm drone under the bass, voice,
A different vocalist takes over for The Loudest Silence.
This singer has an interesting voice: in the mid range with
a hint of natural tremolo. The lead voice carries the songs
minor keys to wonderful effect, while the other singer lays
down some bakcing vocals, and again there is the insistent bass
and the cymbol heavy drumming. This is a pretty good tune. Again,
it is catchy and enjoyable in a rainy day new wave feel.
The third track is called Severin, and it might be the
EPs real winner. It starts with a great guitar riff, which is
backed up by thumping bass and that crazy wavering drumming.
In fact, this is the first song on which the guitar seems more
prominent than the bass. The two singers harmonize qutie nicely
during the chorus, and in general the song moves along like
a semi whose breaks have failed -- it's moving and you can either
catch a ride or get the heck out of the way. A really good tune.
The album ends with a song not listed on the sleeve. And this
song is ... Grounded, played backwards. At least, it's
something backwards and it sounds like Grounded. The
bass sounds really good through backmasking, but otherwise this
is pretty annoying. Whatever guys.
So there you go -- 4 tracks, three of which are catchy and
new wavey fun. There are a few overall thoughts that i have
Firstly, what the heck is up with the drumming? Something about
the way it was recorded or the really cymbol heavy playing creates
a "wavering" sound that reminds me of tape warpage. But it's
only on the drums, so it sounds like the drums are warped but
the rest of the music is normal. A very wierd effect. Not bad,
not good, just wierd.
Both of the voices are good for this style of music, and where
they harmonize in Severin it works really well.
I think that the balance of guitar and bass is well done as
well. The bass has a really full sound (especially on Grounded)
and the guitar is a nice accompaniment. It sometimes sounds
as if Module are following the new wave tradition of having
a lead bassist and a rhythm guitarist, as opposed to the other
way around, which tends to dominate rock. And of this i approve
So, this EP is very nice. It fill sit nicely on the shelf next
to your My Favorite and Bethany Curve CD's. Or your Train black
7"s. In fact, that is a good touchpoint -- The Loudest Silence
and Severin really sound like long lost Train Black tracks
to me. Not that i am accusing a new band from Houston of ripping
off an Atlanta band from the late 80's, but there is a real
similarity in sound: bass heavy with mid ranged male voice.
Module have shown some real promise on this debut. Let's see
where they go next.