Net- + (2011)

Posted: January 4, 2012 by Is This Revolutionary? in Album, album stream, Reviews
Tags: , ,

Album streaming at bottom of page.

“Based out of Austin, TX, NET is a four piece post-rock band looking to share their message through music.”
Could not be further from Explosions in the Sky, which is probably for the best, Net is best described as a mixture of a modern alternative band and post-rock. I know, sounds like a recipe for disaster, but somehow they pull it off. Maybe it’s the vocals, which echo across the soundscape instead of being the main feature, but I didn’t turn it off at the first sign of voices, which is a good thing.
The album, +, yes, literally the plus-sign, does a lot of things I did not expect. Namely their song structure. Generally, post-rock bands either do samples or vocals. Get a little farther into the music scene, namely hardcore-punk, metal and sometimes (mostly with the old stuff, but now making a sort of comeback) hip-hop, you’ll see a blending of samples along with vocals. Those genres aren’t post-rock (for the better), but Net breaks the stereotypes.

The vocals are pretty good in terms of sound, for the most part. “Aphelia” was outstanding, yet “In My Element” got on my nerves a little bit because I felt the vocals didn’t work out so well (too much all at one time). The vocalist has some singing talent, and the echoing effects they’ve used give his voice a epic, what I can only describe as deity-like sound (imagine something ringing down from the heavens). I wasn’t really digging the weird guitar solo at the end of “Sinkhole” (maybe you have to hear it in person). At times, the guy sounds like the vocalist of Tool, which is a pretty neutral statement, depending on if you like the band.

Rating: I can see where Net can go with this. They seem to be very talented musicians, and the vocals on this EP don’t make me want to bash skulls in. At the same time, however, it feels like they concentrate on it too much, and it does make the Net sound different than what they can be. When I heard “Aphelia”, I got goosebumps, and even when they went to the samples in “In My Element”, I was kind of getting into it. The rest of the songs are okay, but don’t amount to anything more than just being listenable. Net sincerely has the ability to suck you into songs in the same way Moving Mountains first album did. They bring you in mainly with the music, and then use vocals to their advantage to make the song stick in your head. My grievance is that the vocals on the first track were so interesting, yet on the rest of the album, they were simplistic and monotonous. There are sparks of grace on +, hidden behind the rest of the music, but they can really hammer out something spectacular the next time around; this was their first EP after all. 2/5

B.

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