Friday, March 17, 2006

Magneto - Resistance is Futile CD Review

The Brotherhood of Mutants, of Marvel Comics fame, being led by the great Magneto himself, wouldn’t be able to put together an evil scheme that could get the people of earth to somehow believe that this CD is anything other than utterly mediocre. And that’s saying a lot if one of the greatest foes of the vaunted X-Men couldn’t change your mind about this band. It is because there is only so much average pop-rock that music listeners can handle and, with Resistance is Futile, Magneto (the band, not the supervillain) has pushed the envelope of pure blandness.

Magneto claim that they were brought together partially because of the band members’ mutual interest in “rawk ‘n’ roll”, however, they certainly don’t bring any of that rawk on this release. Now knowing that they’re not exactly going to rock your socks off, might they not still be a decent pop-rock band? Sadly, even with tempered expectations, they really aren’t.

As you quickly trek through this release, you’ll be overcome by an overwhelming sense of simplicity, but not the “less is more” good kind. There are rarely any compelling moments to be found within the 11 tracks of Resistance is Futile. Some of the more inspired moments come when Magneto attempt to truly embrace their radio-crafted side and totally conform to already established pop-rock conventions. In these moments, however, there are no attempts to convey the image of a rock band, albeit all they would be able to portray is a band which, sadly, has lost their edge without realizing it. All you get is cookie-cutter clichés.

Take, for example, the song “Everything Has Gone”. It starts out with a simple full band rock passage, followed by the first verse over a lone electric guitar, which segues into the full band meatiness of the first verse. Then, as you guessed, there is a crazily melodic, sing-a-long chorus, followed by another verse and then repetitions of the chorus (with a small guitar bridge thrown in for good measure) to end the song. This is the same formula that every radio pop-rock song has used for the last 15 years, if not more.

It’s this total lack of variety and complete conformity to a worn out template that holds Magneto down. Like previously mentioned, they are at their best when they are abiding by pop-rock standards and conventions, which says something about their pedigree. There’s a plethora of other great bands out there that should be given a listen before this.

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