CD REVIEW: Lunaractive - Synthesis
By Steve Allat - 02/22/2005 - 09:03 PM EST
For Fans Of: Limp Bizkit, System of a Down
Fav Tracks: Reckless Return, Comfort, Predator
Punk & Metal are alive and well in Oregon. It's true, partially.
The punk aspect of this quartet is very controlled. Not much abandoned rebellion here, but something more harmonious. These guys seem too conscientious to be saddled with the punk label, so we'll just say they play fast, hard & heavy.
Vocals are clean & higher, always nice with the rest of the music holding down the bottom end.
Every now and then Ethan's vocals waver a bit, and sometimes words get in the way, but for the most part he's doing well. A drastic improvement would be that the backing vocals could be a lot thicker - bring 'em up! The vocals I enjoyed the most were the 2 and 3 part harmonies - when they double up on taking lead it sounds great - something I haven't heard done so well many times before. The screamer in the back (don't know who's responsible) sounds pretty typical. Check out Half A Halo (see review) for something a bit different and therefore intriguing.
With two guitars (Brandon Sause & Anthony Munoz), these guys have a great sound, separating the rhythm and taking off of one another to create a lot of sound & interest in the back. And, thankfully, they know when not to play too much. Finishing off the sound is drummer Eric Porter and Ethan on bass. Again, tasteful playing abounds, and Eric knows when to use the double bass well and to help the song along.
Others have said that their songs do all have an epic feel to them, and I have to agree - they can be kind of like old Triumph songs - a big riff dominates, a second guitar rides around all over the top and melodic vocals keep everything in place.
For this, their second recording, the boys have teamed up with producer Tony Esperance (Papa Roach) who has done a fine job of getting their talent down. It showcases what they do well, and with the exception of vocal improvements, I don't have any complaints.
The lyrics, written mostly by vocalist Ethan (co-writing on two tracks by guitarist Anthony) are very interesting and challenging. Like the Offspring, they talk about some subjects straight up in a positive way. If they're not always great lyrics, they're at least honest & may double as therapy.
If they focus on their strengths and keep honing their songwriting skills, these guys could take the very competent sound they've got and create some excellent music. I wouldn't be surprised.
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