« Demo reviews

Mean+Flower - In Bloom

Reviewed by Graeme on 3rd July 2003

Ok, getting the negatives out of the way first, the production throughout this is very dry. Whether through shortcomings of the hardware used, of a lack of experience (neither of which are the bands fault), the mixing on the songs is extremely linear with little warmth and leaves the listener on the outside. On a related note, singer Yashar Alousha's voice - which I initially found off putting until I had listened a few times - can take some getting used to. As I said, if this is just intended as a demo, then it would be unfair to chastise the band for these production shortcomings.

Getting onto the songs themselves, opener Love Me is a wonderful piece of guitar rock. Held together with fantastically placed drum hooks, the guitar parts complement each other and the vocals soar over it all. The only downer is the bass, which sits annoyingly high in the mix, but even then doesn't go as far as to spoil the song.

Up next is Everlasting Dream, which - no pun intended - has a dreamy guitar sound to it. Save for a slightly juddery section about two thirds of the way in, it maintains attention throughout despite having no real hook. It also interestingly opens and finishes with the same disconnected drum loop, which really shouldn't work, yet does to great effect.

Saviour is the only songwriting low point - it is musically sturdy but fails to ever get into gear and is instantly forgettable. However, given the quality of the other songs it would be missing the point to simply derise this one track.

Lastly, The Innocent closes proceedings in style. Probably the best track, it is a fantastic statement of intent for where the band can go. An anthemic guitar sound with huge swirling verses and a sharp chorus, it covers all the ground of the other songs in one. Clever and well put together, it bodes well for future recordings.

Rating: 8/10
Website: mean-flower.cjb.net

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