Idiot: 2008 Demo Review by DOA
Check out this great review by Laura Betney at Delusions of Adequacy.
Here's a link for the original posting on their site too. Enjoy!
Idiot, consisting of Nyberg on vox/guitar, Sean Lynch on drums and Jeff Yanchek on bass, met at a Hanson concert according to their Myspace. I think that's probably a wind-up, since the Hanson influences are few and far between on this demo (fortunately, or maybe not depending on your perspective). Instead this sounds like a very metal version of Queens of the Stone Age, mixed with some of the heavier Muse riffs and hints of the screamy bits employed by Die So Fluid and Cortizone. For me, this does verge a bit too far into "metal" sometimes for my tastes, but it has to be admitted that Idiot do what they do very well and provide some enjoyable vocal melodies and great, heavy riffs.
Opener "Frankie Sharp" has a fast opening riff, reminiscent of Muse's "Assassin", from their album Black Holes and Revelations, with all the instruments chugging away furiously. This breaks off suddenly, with the bass guitar making the majority of the noise, to reveal vocals best pictured if you could imagine some kind of Josh Homme/Nick Oliveri hybrid - with Homme doing the melodic stuff and Oliveri doing the screamy bits he was so good at. This is a frenetic and exciting opener to the demo, certainly making it difficult not to be intrigued as to where the rest
"Smile 2012" seems to rely pretty heavily on the same chugging, fast riff - again very (even more so) reminiscent of "Assassin" by Muse. Again, there is the mix of melodic singing with the occasional System of a Down-esque scream thrown in for good measure. This has a great chorus section, with tremolo guitar parts (it also sounds like there might be some synthed string parts layered in as well) over a really good vocal part that shows off the vocal talents of Nyberg - the only thing that should be said, and it's a fairly small point and kind of adds to the overall feel of the music, is that his intonation is frankly, appalling, making it very difficult to catch anything but small snippets of the lyrics. Although I do usually have a major issue with this, the generally good tone of his voice and the catchy music kind of makes this a small niggle for me.
"Unimpressed", the first slow track on the album is very Cortizone-esque, with a typical "System of a Down slow song" drum beat. There are some subtle and understated guitar parts here as well. For the most part there is the same trouble with intonation here, but I did manage to discern this: "Just think of me, as self-righteous/I'm just the result of the mindless", which is alright, as far as lyrics go. However, I think there is less room for this kind of sloppiness with pronunciation on slower tracks. This said, it's a very beautiful, epic song that drifts along nicely.
"Big Spender" takes us back to typical heavy form, with a great, dirty sounding bass line that Twiggy Ramirez would be proud of. Actually, this is the first time the bass has been very overstated and obviously doing something other than chugging away at root notes. This instantly kind of makes it the best song on the album for me. The singing is better here as well, with more of the lyrics being decipherable "Hey, big spender, show us all of your self-indulgences/ Be everything that we dream, don't worry it's not (something)." Again though, because the song just sounds so bad-ass, it almost doesn't matter when you can't hear bits of the lyrics, since you imagine they would most likely be just as bad-ass as the music.
The last track, "Thumbscrews", definitely has some kind of weird electronic sampling going on underneath the melancholy, sweet acoustic guitar sounds, making me wonder which member of the band is responsible for this, as it's not credited to any of them on their Myspace. Again, this is a slow number and shows off Nyberg's vocal range well. The lyrics? I have no idea for the most part. Never mind.
Overall then, this is a great rock album with strong hints of metal thrown in. It has some fantastic riffs and a great vocal tone over the top of it all. However, on slow songs either the intonation needs to be much better, or the vocals need to be higher in the mix for them to come through clearly. I suppose, since it's a demo, this is the kind of thing that can be ironed out later on. Definitely though, this is worth a listen - especially the heavy tracks, which are a great collection of truly blistering riffs.