Sound — 10
Flaw's first major release, on universal records. This CD combines a melodic Staind type sound with a crushingly heavy nu metal one. Flaw's vocalist, Chris Volz, almost sounds like two different people, switching between heavy and softer vocals. But he is also diverse enough to hit a "middle range" in some songs, such a s the chorus of "What I Have To Do", and the end portions of "One More Time". Their guitarists (Lance Arny and Jason Daunt, who also does some interspersed keyboards) use standard tuned 7 strings, and cover a wide range of sounds. On "Payback", one of the heaviest sounds of guitar, has a melodic interlude that fits in without ruining the tempo or feel. This song (along with "Whole") has a great bass run as the opening which is unique and, to the best of my knowledge, unprecedented. Their bassist Ryan Jurhs(who also does backing vocals) is audible on all of the tracks and sounds similar to Fieldy from Korn. Thier drummer Chris Ballinger, is great on every track, but especially on "Scheme", with a complex but unusual pattern.
Lyrics — 9
Chris Volz's lyrics are very powerful on this CD.From the painful lyrics of his mother's suicide on "Whole" to the angry rage against a girl on "Reliance", the lyrics can be fairly harsh and hardcore. But also on tracks like "Best I Am", "Only The Strong", and "My Letter" are very smooth sounding and m harmonize well with the music.The lyrics on this album are considerably darker than on their next cd, "Endangered Species".
Overall Impression — 10
This is a very good CD, but it's very diverse, so I'll describe it track by track. 01. Only The Strong - a very good opening track, with lyrics about self motivation and dealing with life. 02. Payback - a very heavy track, the first single off the cd; my favorite parts are the chorus and the interlude at the end of verse two. 03. My Letter - not really a soft track, but more melodic; one of the few moments on this CD where they sound like they do on"Endangered Species". Very solid song, with great vocals. 04. Get Up Again - I like every track on this cd, but if I had to pick a favorite, it would be this. The only downside to this song is the chorus is only sung twice. This song is featured at the party scene of the movie "XXX" and is on the soundtrack. 05. Whole - most of my friends who have listened to this song think it's the best one on the CD. The second single, it has a great intro, and is about the suicide of Volz's mother and how it's affected him. 06. Amendment - another heavy song, but the bridge is mellow and slower. Sounds like a part two to "Whole", and the title perhaps implies that. 07. Scheme - again, a heavy one, seems a bit short though. Great drum parts, and the guitar is very heavy sounding, but an unconvential sounding riff. 08. What I Have To Do - a solid song, brings the CD into the more smooth, softer part of the CD. Great vocals. 09. Inner Strength - a strong track, powerful vocals and a nice bass line. 10. Best I Am - the softest song, but still a good one. The best soft guitar parts on the CD are in this song. 11. Out Of Whack - picks it back up a little, a sound rock track, good lyrics about how people think the kids are all messed up (at least that's how I interpret it). 12. Reliance - maybe the heaviest song, only one soft vocal part, nice riff. 13. One More Time - a great ending, Kind of similar to Only The strong. 14. Hidden Track - an acoustic only the strong with keyboards. A great CD! I would buy it again without question!