Sound — 8
My impression of the sound and the music is that this EP is pretty self explanatory. It's their first release and it definitely sounds just like that: a young band that's still figuring their sound out. This EP, along with Undertow, is definitely heavier than their later releases and I can definitely hear the metal influences more than the progressive ones. This EP just sounds raw. +A story I can attach to the EP is that I've read an interview in which Adam said that they recorded the songs that they did on it because they wanted to prove themselves on their first release by showing off their most aggressive stuff. He said that they had already written many of the songs on Undertow, but recorded these to show how pissed off they could sound. And the album definitely sounds like that. The whole band just sounds mad about shit. Especially Maynard's vocals and the way that Danny just pounds the drum kit. +The musical styles of this record are that most of the songs are more "heavy metal" sounding (the title-track isn't as heavy, but still pretty pissed off). Like I said before, the band just sounds angry and heavy. There aren't very many innovations on the album. The playing is still pretty simplistic compared to Lateralus and 10, 000 Days. They just sound like a 90's metal band, which is about right. +I would like to share that I recommend this EP if you like the sounds of Undertow and maybe Aenima. Also, check out some of the live performances from the 1990-1995 era on youtube to see some great, powerful performances.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are definitely not my favorites from Maynard. But, like I said before, this is a young version of the band that was trying to show their anger. Maynard definitely sounds angry in his vocals on this EP. I think that the delivery of the lyrics is more powerful than the actual lyrics. They are pretty simplistic at this point, but still definitely good. +The angry delivery of the lyrics compliment the angry instrument playing quite well. +Maynard has great singing skills and he can do a lot of different things with his voice. I like the delivery of the lyrics in this EP a lot. The way Maynard sounds like he's just screaming at you can cause goosebumps.
Overall Impression — 8
The only other albums I want to compare it to would be Undertow and maybe some parts of Aenima. It definitely has a similar sound to Undertow. It sounds like a lot of bands' first releases: young, emotional, and pretty raw. +I think that the best songs on the album are Cold & Ugly and Jerk-Off. Those are the two live recordings on the album and they sound great. I love watching the live performances from this era on youtube because that intimate, small venue feel mixed with the rage of the music is just wonderful. I love the guitar playing on those songs, also. +I love the anger, the frustration, and how those feelings are broadcast to the listener. I guess I'm not too big of a fan of the lack of variety and the lyrics. There isn't too much I don't like about it, but I'm not too crazy about it, either. +I would definitely replace it if it were stolen because I love this band that much. I am happy to spend my money on them.