Friday, May 6, 2016

Pearly Gates - Unchained (2016)

Though we haven't heard a new Tool record since 2006's 10,000 Days, it seems that the band have been alive and well in Finland. Really. The frontman sounds like just like Maynard did back when he was playing on Lateralus and Aenema, with “Sink Hole” sounding like a Tool track that they left in the vault somewhere. These guys have played over a hundred gigs since they've been together and being a Tool fan, I can definitely say that I enjoy the approach here. I'd actually love to break into the local radio station, put “Sink Hole” on the radio and see how many people start drooling because they think Tool just released a new single. I can just hear it now. “But that's not Tool!” “I don't care, it's fucking Tool enough for me!” As we keep going, we're going to hear something completely different though, and that's the calming acoustic ballad “Unchained” which is performed here live. It's not really my thing, but I will admit that it's pretty mellow and I'd probably enjoy it more if I was a bit stoned. “Free Fall” sounds more like classic progressive rock in a way, with a decidedly dreamlike feeling that certainly doesn't sound anything like Tool. Though it starts out pretty weak, as with any good prog track, it has a tremendous instrumental buildup that proves to be worth it's weight in gold. There's also another track on here by the name of “Glass Eyes” which sounds like an alternative rock track by another name, so ignore the cool tagline. Unfortunately, these guys seem to only be really good at emulating other bands and there's little here that seems to be of their own style. I could jam “Sink Hole” hundreds of times, but the rest of this stuff just doesn't cut it as much. I think listeners are going to be a bit confused, as am I. But one really awesome song and pretty good one at the end isn't necessarily a bad thing, is it?

(4 Tracks, 20:00)


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