The fair city of Birmingham (the original UK flavour, as opposed to the Alabama variety) where I live was hit by a freak tornado this week, which created many thousands of homeless people and millions of pounds' worth of damage. I stood and watched the funnel form –- a spooky experience for a native of these shores. My sympathies go to those in the USA who endure this phenomenon on a yearly basis.
I was personally unscathed by the whole event, although several buildings less than half a mile away from my own vantage point were badly damaged. This close-shave and the very expression "near miss" brings me neatly to the subject in hand, namely Break Down The Walls by Memphis outfit Tydyl Wave.
I've never been a fan of Bon Jovi. That overblown, whining "life's been hard" ethos has always grated on my nerves. Much the same can be said of their more contemporary equals (Nickelback, et al), whose main raison d'etre seems to be a relentless babble about being one of the "bad men" (even though the singer really doesn't want to be among their number, bless him), "madness" and "layin' it on the line" for some woman. I mean, if you knew someone who blubbed like this in reality, you'd either tell them to get a grip or make excuses not to go to their Tupperware parties.
You may be picking up the main vibe of the forthcoming review.
As I've mentioned during many other reviews, my modus operandum is to listen to each release a few times and then again as I'm typing the review. I can then skip back and play a track as I'm writing about it, pulling out pleasing highlights of each as I go. So far, I'm on track four and have yet to be pulled back to re-examine anything.
Had this album featured as a parody of a rock band (a la Spinal Tap) or as a soundtrack to a Hollywood drama about a "life on the road" band, then it would have been passable. As a standalone piece, however, I find it to be cliché-ridden and hackneyed. I though this stuff died out in the late 80s?
Although I can see this being played on FM stations across the USA who specialise in rock, it would be indistinguishable from so much other similar sounding material currently out there. And with poor enough FM reception, one could be forgiven for thinking that Jon Bon Jovi's balls had dropped at last.
Ah ... wait a minute ...here's a track I can comment on individually. Down to Nothing could also have a sub-title of Down To Using A String Of Tired Lyrics. This one song has such well-worn old favourites as "A shadow of the man I used to be", "Now I'm left with nothin'", "I took my chances", and "I rolled the dice..." -- and that's just the first verse. There's other stuff about someone or other's "heart on the line" and something else (it's not quite clear what "it" is exactly ... his pancreas, perhaps?) is later "laid on the line".
And so on. And on. And on.
Bear with me, gentle reader, whilst I hit the 'Stop' button on my player ... ah, that's better. I beg your forgiveness for taking this review into a realm of silence, but hark: is that not the song of a lesser-crested corn warbler I hear now that I have some peace?
To add some degree of fairness to this review, this really isn't my sort of music. Acts like the aforementioned Bon Jovi and Nickelback have never rocked my boat (or any other personal choice of transportation, for that matter), and Tydyl Wave are rooted firmly in that bracket. I can see them attaining some sort of acclaim amongst a niche market, but even then, they're not different enough to really make any great impact. Lyrically, the songs are trite and naïve, laughably and lamentably so in some cases.
I can't honestly see anyone who has been shaving for more than five years getting off on this; it's perfect fodder for love-lorn late-teenagers everywhere until they realise that being so bloody dramatic twenty-four hours a day can be more than a little tiresome.
May I make a request for the next album? Can we have a memorable tune?