Allele: Next to Parallel

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Allele: Next to Parallel
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Allele: Next to Parallel
Alternative Rock
Goomba Music
September 27th, 2011
Release length: 47:34
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Who switched out this promo with the latest Nickelback recording?! Alas, nobody did. Allele is an Alternative Rock act (and not Alternative Metal as many sites are reporting) that comes from Jacksonville, Florida. Founded in 2001, the band eventually issued their debut full-length, Point of Origin back in 2005, and since then hasn’t followed it up. However, for 2011, Goomba Music picked up the band to issue their second studio album, Next to Parallel. While the immediate reaction was thinking someone is playing a cruel trick on me, it doesn’t properly explain the band, and in fact does become more of an insult since this band is a million times more enjoyable then the aforementioned group, but does this album really offer listeners anything different from the hundreds of other Alternative Rock or Nickelback clones flooding the mainstream radio waves today?

Not at all. Allele is a pretty traditional modern Alternative Rock band, though the group does seem to have some slightly edgier riffs that do border into Five Finger Death Punch territory at times, but those do seem really rare due to how few and far between they appear. The album is clean and clearly has a strong production to it meant to capture that top notch digital sound, which can work for the slight atmospheres that the band brings into the music to keep their sound slightly more unique, though given how little attention it ends up getting, it doesn’t make them stands out anymore next to other bands such as Cold who have been doing it better for a longer period of time. This atmosphere largely comes from the liquid-like clarity of the guitars that do set up a bit of an emotional push to the music that is being played, and the bass does come through in the mix nicely, which is one thing that many cannot deny that the more mainstream sounding acts do well with their recordings. The drums shine through nicely too with cymbols that crash loudly with natural snares against bass kicks with a nice click to them that stands out nicely amid the other instruments. Vocally, the album does find an additional emotional toll being dealt, though the sound is largely generic. The range is quite impressive, and sometimes you get some background screams like with “What I Get” but, again, very rarely. Honestly, while the whole thing sounds largely generic, it’s impossible to sit down and say that the band does a poor job at performing, as there is a lot of good things to say about the production, the vocals, and even the atmospheres that the band can incorporate with their music.

But that doesn’t mean Allele is going to be the most amazing or awe-inspiring listen you’ll ever hear. Right off the bat “Let it Go” does kick in with a little extra energy and some riffs that do make you expect a slightly edgier song, but the chorus immediately goes into traditional Alternative Rock material. But, overall, the song is not bad outside the slower verse that follows the main chorus that feels a little mishandled by the band. The guitar work during the chorus is commendable though, as the background riffs do give off a little extra environmental push to the track and gives it a slightly more emotional sound then you would expect, and the solo that follows the second chorus is pretty good for what it is. This is about the extent of the unique concepts you’ll find on this album, and while “Let it Go” may not sound the most generic offering, “Closure” does start to usher in some of the more mainstream driven ideals with it’s slower pace, and almost immediately you’ll start finding obvious similarities to other bands such as Incubus with this track. Again, the song is not bad, but it doesn’t really offer anything new or too unique, and just feels like good musicianship playing the staple concepts of the Alternative Rock style. However, the track does end with some altered vocals that cause them to go in and out like a strobing effect, and it just feels really pointless to have and even huts the closing a bit given the more energetic performance that it interrupts.

“Dead and Cold” does stand out a bit more from the others due to it’s slower pace that borders what you might consider an Alternative Rock ballad. The atmosphere here is far richer compared to any other song, and you generally get a depressing atmosphere to the track that you could say reflects the nature of losing someone, a tone reflected well in the lyrics that accompany that environment. “Drone” is also a good track, but for the most part ends up being a less atmospheric and slightly more upbeat track compared to “Dead and Cold.” It’s sad to see how similar the two are despite their differences, and while this doesn’t feel like a carbon copy approach by any means, it doesn’t really seem to offer much of a unique sound following such a strong track. But with these two highlighted, what ends up standing out the most with Next to Parallel is the slightly heavier Five Finger Death Punch-esque tracks that pop up throughout the song. Songs like “Something Cured” do have a nice extra edge to them and catchier material that have the potential to get the listener’s head bobbing along with the rhythm they have. These also end up making a better impact on the listener like “Dead and Cold,” though for largely different reasons. The atmosphere to these tracks don’t really follow through like “Let it Go” will have, which is a bit of a let down, but for what these harder cuts are, that’s something you can write off for the sake of some less-typical material, though still perceivable as worship-based compositions.

There really isn’t much else to be said about the album, and the closing of Next to Parallel isn’t bad, but the song’s really don’t pack much into them to even get the listener feeling moved in the slightest or even tapping your foot along momentarily, leaving more of a generic impact on the album then anything. But, with music that feels carbon copied between Five Finger Death Punch, Nickelback, and even Incubus, it’s hard to sit back and call this band an original group by any means. Allele still do a good job at what they do, and given today’s trends the band will probably go far for sticking to these tried and true ideas. But, overall, the album’s music is good, but nothing that will make this band stand out or even really become that important in the Rock world. Fans of the style will enjoy the album for what it is obviously, but anyone else might give it one listen and then shrug it off in favor of the aforementioned bands…except maybe for Nickelback.

01. Let it Go – 3:18
02. Closure – 3:56
03. What I Get – 3:07
04. Dead and Cold – 3:37
05. Drone – 3:11
06. Something Cured – 3:37
07. Feed the Wolves – 3:44
08. Hurt – 4:32
09. Chains of Alice – 3:36
10. Answers – 4:02
11. Stay Down – 3:10
12. Next to Parallel – 4:12
13. To Arms – 3:35
Overall Score: 5.5/10


Digital review copy of this release provided by Goomba Records.