Sound — 6
Have you ever heard of distortion? I think I've heard it on Metallica albums and most heavy metal albums. Not to compare, because I would do that, but Bush had a little distortion, nothing like Institute's debut album. Distort Yourself might seem weak in sound at first glance but for what the album is intended for it does a fine job. The album is dedicated to Gavin Rossdale's deceased dog Winston. The sound is heavy. It has a couple of softer type tracks but the album can be considered "hard rock." The styles of this album is basic lead, rhythm guitars, drums and bass. The effects on lead guitarist Chris Traynor sound ingenious on some of the songs. Gavin basically plays easy power chords, but who said you must solo here? Their are a few solos but nothing like Slash or Kirk Hammit believe that. Distort Yourself's album cover suggests a soft, or mid-tempo album, but although when you listen to the large amount of distortion in each song you feel distorted. The song "Ambulances" must be a future hit or single. It has too much going for it with the soft tone and the powerful chorus. I feel like the album's sound may be overused a little with the same distortion tones, but it isn't all that bad at the end of the day.
Lyrics — 10
Gavin Rossdale writes all the songs on this record. Some say that his writing is non-sense and crazy. I think it's some of the best lyrics today. He doesn't give you face value lyrics all the time, his lyrics are metaphoric really, and they can sound a little weird but they really aren't. Sometimes an artists vision of writing a song isn't supposed to be met. Gavin sings "Cool to disappear but I missed you more these days. And army of tatooed angels have brought me back today" on the first and current single "Bullet Proof Skin." He also sings in probably the single to come later on this year or early next year in the song "Ambulances" which features Gwen Stefani on one chorus: "There are so many ambulances, less you ask, more you see, there are so many accidents, it's the universe and nothing's free". Lets face it Gavin Rossdale can write a song. His words are very inspirational to everyone in general terms. The lyrics although could of been used around the songs better in some. Overall they're great and what can you say?
Overall Impression — 6
This is a new band feauturing a lead singer/writer/guitarist from a older band "Bush." It's a debut album so you can't compare really. The better songs on the album are "Wasteland," "Bullet Proof Skin," "Ambulances," "Secrets and Lies" and "Mountains." I don't like how the distortion on the album is overused. It is almost the same tone in every song. Traynor changes up his effects but Gavin doesn't. The bass playing is very good. Cache Tolman is a new bassist and he's the real deal. Charlies Walker on drums gives a steady beat but all and all it really isn't enough to give the album a "high" rating. It's just a good album and not great. I was hoping for something awesome but it's just good. I do like the album and the next album shouldn't use Page Hamilton to produce it. The band would be better off to use a grunge/rock sound instead of trying to sound like Cold or Disturbed. If it was lost I would get it again yes. I would definatley check them out. This is a review coming from a very critical fan of the band. If you want me to it's not better then any Bush album except "Golden State." It's irrelvant to do that though. Bush isn't here, but Insitute is. Check them out!