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Xcentrik - Welcome To The War (CD)

Welcome To The War
by Alex Zervanos at 22 December 2007, 1:57 PM

An eclectic, multi-faceted affair, XCENTRIK's debut album is in equal measure anti-contemporary world polemic and tasteful, all-encompassing rock, full of rich dynamics and tight interplay.

Lyrically based on the band's obvious disapproving of modern human's egotistical, pathological reliance on blind aggression, over-consumption and endless hunting for materialistic bliss, Welcome To The War manages to embed its bleak observations in a series of songs whose maddening unpredictability somehow matches the disorientating, perplexed nature of the themes contemplated in the words.

Pin-balling from grinding MEGADETH-like riffs to lounge vibes to breezy pop choruses to FAITH NO MORE-esque keyboard-heavy danceable metal, sometimes over the course of a single song, this is a collection of tunes that would indeed lack any kind of cohesiveness if it were not for the instantly identifiable groove of XCENTRIK's ace rhythm section, the rock-steady musical nucleus around which everything here is structured. Able to alternate between Color And Light's light-speed funk-frenzied paranoia and Fabulous Machine's relaxed nighttime-by-the-pool ambience with elegant ease, bassist Niels W. Knudsen and drummer Valentino form the inventive, spirited underscore for Jan Weincke's array of strange chords, bizzaro leads and spicy fills.
Too high in the mix and too strained to effectively convey the righteous anger intended during the opening title track, Weincke's voice shifts gear for the rest of the CD, eventually becoming the focal point of this release's stunning highlight Sweet Idol, an almost …easy-listening parody of an impossibly smug character, where the vocal delivery initially employs a bassy, ironic, ZAPPA-in-Cosmik Debris-like approach, and then moves on to cool things down (during the chorus) with the glibness of a bored intellectual wearily patenting one-use theories while having his late-afternoon tea tasting session, in a way that is positively reminiscent of eighties or nineties DAVID BOWIE.
The Thin White Duke's detached, vibrato-heavy crooning is reprised during the couplet of The End Of Nowhere, in a song that sounds eerily close to something BUDDY LACKEY's twisted mind might have sketched out back in the day.

Admirers of experimental rock that sounds at once loose, luney, spaced out and funked up are recommended to check this one out.

3 Star Rating

Welcome To The War
Sweet Idol
Color & Light
Fabulous Machine
The End Of Nowhere
Jan Weincke - Voices, Guitars
Niels W. Knudsen - Basses
Valentino - Drums
Record Label: Biomechanical Music


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