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Famous Underground - Self-Titled

Famous Underground
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 04 July 2013, 10:47 AM

Sink down to the gutter, below the flashy city lights, under the streets of disease and contamination, leather is all but ancient history, its coming back is a mystery, and there is the band, modern street fuzz Hard Rock in 80s clothing. Not that I was anytime against it, but I have always figured that since the late 90s, contemporary Hard Rock, or what was once Hard N’ Heavy, bands, including the bashed up Nu Metal deserters, would take a look around, watch as the old school spirits are once again gaining influence, and take a bow and a few pointers. In a way, it happened, but as always, as in any declining genre like Nu Metal, not in full. Sometimes, one out of variety of nasty figures, there would be a glitter rose waiting to be picked out of the thorny field. FAMOUS UNDERGROUND, nice word game with the chosen name, led by the former lead vocalist of SILK TOXIK, Nicholas Walsh, a sort of early 90s Glam meets Hard Rock facelift that rather made a name for itself back then, conspired to revamp the 80s but with a deep tone of the fashionable taste of the modern age. Contracting various attributes that might indicate of a BON JOVI, CINDERELLA, SKID ROW, GUNS N’ ROSES for the classic intervention, FAMOUS UNDERGROUND also inhibited a few darker voids of the 90s era of Alternative Rock nation champs of ALICE IN CHAINS, DISTURBED and STONE SOUR. Lately these guys dispatched their debut self-titled release, via Dust On The Tracks Records, upholding an underground Rock rule.

In practical terms, this debut album is quite solid, relying more of the later inspirations of Hard Rock other than the 80s indications that enriched the genre back in the glory days. I felt frequent similarities to the Swedish groovy HARDCORE SUPERSTAR and BLACK RAIN (minus the vigour) cringing with hooks of GUNS N’ ROSES. The big bulk of the songs are mid pacers, predominantly depending of being riff based, tight rhythm of drum and bass posturing but nothing too rich or demanding, most solos reminded me of being Slash oriented (like Gibson subjected zests) and of course there are the vocals taking raspy tones along with mild sexism as a reminder of the Glamish nature of the singer. On the other hand, other than their dimness and mellowness that actually revealed a peak ingenuity, FAMOUS UNDERGROUND, subsequent to their gloomy chunky sound, seemed laid back, sometimes even lacklustre with a definite lack of energy to excite. Frankly, songs like “Mommy Is A Junkie”, which embraced an important lesson, exhibiting the downwards of society, appeared boring and rather monotonic, and it can be proclaimed on “Wheel Of Misfortune” as well. “Overdrive” and “Wasteland” seemed encouraging enough, yet still these songs didn’t reach what I was expecting from a band that was promoted with such passion. I wasn’t looking for overachieving musical intricacy, yet I was seeking for a bit more emotion, hunger, an untamed urge, the burning fire of a young Rockin’ squad ready to tear the house down, but it wasn’t there, at least no enough.

Better still, FAMOUS UNDERGROUND had something to offer after all. “Hell To Pay”, wayward Hard Rocker, heavy as hell, darker than black, really provided a good time. “Forever And A Day” and “On Broken Wings”, talk about the lesser evil, but it was time for some emotional acceptance on my part. The former, a nice ballad of the pristine GUNS N’ ROSES type, latter being another mild dramatic with shard of heaviness to it, also featured as a reprise, for whoever got the bonus. “Dead Weight” seemed like a fine unification of grit and style, knuckles and bruises, bloody modern Rock but quite influential. Far from being a sham to Hard Rock, this is a fine result for a debut, all that is needed is a bit liveliness and dynamism.

3 Star Rating

1. Wasteland
2. Overdrive
3. Dead Weight
4. Love Stands Still
5. Forever And A Day
6. Necropolis
7. Wheel Of Misfortune
8. Mommy Is A Junkie
9. On Broken Wings
10. Bullet Train
11. Hell To Pay
12. Dead Weight (acoustic)
13. On Broken Wings (reprise)
Nicholas Walsh – Vocals / Guitars
Laurie-Anne Green – Bass / Backing Vocals
Rick Corvese - Guitars
Darren Boyd - Guitars
Desche Sparboom - Drums
Record Label: Dust On The Tracks Records


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