3/14/2006 - Review by: Eric Compton
Beautiful Creatures - Deuce - 2005 - Perris Records
Obstacles and heartbreak never stopped Leste before, and before long the band started writing material for their second album. The band had some trouble picking up a label contract, but did manage to get their album out in Japan through JVC. Those of us with shallow pockets can now avoid that steep import price. Spitfire Records has signed the band and released their "Deuce" title domestically. Being the hard rocker I am, I slipped over to Best Buy and picked this baby up for $13.99. It was money well worth it, but this one didn't quite have the impact I was hoping for.
Sure, this one fits snugly right beside the debut, with Leste doing what he can with this material. His voice is still there and better than ever even after the release of the poorly favored reunion Bang Tango record. But beyond that comes an angry metallic sound out of the band, a gritty, tight musical pattern that keeps the heavy heads a bangin'. At times the boys are as heavy as Overkill (see gutsy opener "Anyone"), with huge bombastic riffs running all over this rock slab. With huge staples like "Freedom" and "Straight To Hell" it is really hard to find anything negative about the album. But the goods stop there, as if the band was only looking for that down and dirty raw sound half the time. The rest of this release just spins it's wheels, never quite breaking into that rich soil that keeps bands like this alive and well. No, this time around the band never quite gets into that open field. I'm not sure if it's Anthony Focx's production or simply the band trying to go even more modern, but the riffs sound extremely manufactured and processed, almost coming across as mechanical and...well...I just can't identify with that.
Strong cuts here are the addictive hooks of "Anyone", "Freedom", "Straight To Hell", and "Thanks". Sub-par cuts include the lost identity on "Unforgiven", the modern waste of "Empty", and the not so "Brand New Day". Overall a decent effort but for some reason the album just sounds clunky and overdone. If you are looking for a cookie-cutter, drone sound then look no further. For me and hopefully others, I'd like to hear a bit more identity on a loosely built engine. Give us a little attitude and a bit more diversity guys! Loosen up some and just let it ride.
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