The Sick-Leaves - Tunnel Vision

2006-09-08 09:39
Within all musical timelines there’s what the pundits call "the sound of a generation". The Sick-Leaves demonstrate that concept well enough, with the expected new-wave guitar overdrives, biggish choruses and simplistic vocal hooks.

Commercial rock is one area where Joburg bands have both succeeded and failed: mercantile approaches can so often fail miserably (and most do) and if there’s an obvious flaw in Tunnel Vision, it's that it does err on the side of caution a little bit. But sometimes a decent effort does come along, and overall Tunnel Vision is a good example of how it could be done.

At the risk of sounding over-critical, a lot of the material is more obsessed with producing the noise than fleshing out the songs themselves. It’s all good and well for a band to have a "sound", but it's often at the expense of a holistic listening experience – especially for an album almost 60 minutes long.

A pity, because when a song does threaten to break out of Tunnel Visions mould, it’s really engaging. "Across the Line", for example - sounding a bit like early Charlatans fronted by Brian Molko - might be a classic if it made a point of driving its chorus hook home.

The music is commercial "indie" (to use a somewhat bizarre marketing term), and The Sick-Leaves do a more than adequate job of engaging the current popular touchstone. Add to that some solid production and mix, and you've got a (new) rock album with more plusses than minuses. In fact, it’s some of the better work in its genre this year.

Worth collecting.

- Anton Marshall
What is it with these new rock bands wearing ties? Is it some sort of statement about the corporate stature of modern rock music? Is it fashion? Whatever it is, it’s tired. And derivative. Drop it.

Chris 2006/09/11 5:11 PM
Superb This is an outstanding CD! Can't stop playing it. Awesome guitaring, good lyrics - can't go wrong! You guys rock!!
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