Engrained: Anger, Roots & Rock ‘n Roll

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Engrained: Anger, Roots & Rock ‘n Roll
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Engrained: Anger, Roots & Rock 'n Roll
Hard Rock, Hardcore, Punk
SPV Records
July 13th, 2010
Release length: 15:40
Myspace
Engrained is a long running band that fuses Rock ‘N Roll music with Punk and Hardcore to create a catchy and rather addicting sound. Over the years the band has appeared on plenty of samplers and compilations, and put out a few EPs, with Anger Roots And Rock N’ Roll being the first dedicated EP from the band in a good while. This release features a little over fifteen minutes of their latest material, and it was well worth the wait for these new tracks, as well as re-recordings of demo material the band recorded for their Myspace account player.

If the band hadn’t incorporated the Rock aspect to the music, Anger Roots And Rock N’ Roll really would just sound like your generic, run of the mill Punk and Hardcore fusion. However, the nice hint of Rock that is often subtle in the mix really makes for some often catchy music. Of the five tracks on this release, the first three really fit the formula that the band seems to go for quite well. “Traitor” is just a catchy, fast paced track that really just has a slight Rock atmosphere to the music, while the latter two have a much more Hard Rock atmosphere to them. There’s no real problem to the song, but at first listen it seems the Punk and Hardcore influence on the song, especially the vocals, winds up being just too much and winds up being a bit overkill. While this feeling won’t quite go away after repeat listens, you’ll come to enjoy the track for what it is. “Pretty City”, however, is the better of the three starting tracks, thanks to it’s overall catchiness and how well everything works together, but the same problem lies within this song as well “Traitor”, and that would be the vocal used just don’t work and wind up clashing with the song.

Luckily the vocal clashing only lies in the first two tracks as “Leave You Behind”, another finely crafted track that brings in more of a Southern Rock feel to it, introduces a deeper vocal approach to the music which is carried into “Plastic Bomb (Poison Idea Convergence)” as well. The last two tracks on here are a little bit of a different story. “Rock n Roll Scum” comes in with the same kind of Rock vibe that “Leave You Behind” has, but the only real aspect to the music that is unique to it, really, comes from the vocals. This track just comes off more as a straight forward Rock song and, while it’s good, actually feels a bit generic compared to the rest, even the slightly over-the-top “Traitor”. This isn’t the only time things seem a little generic. The track “Plastic Bomb (Poison Idea Convergence)” is more of a straight forward punk song then anything as well, but this song actually winds up being one of the more enjoyable tracks off the whole release. It does have some Rock in the song, but it’s very minimal within the guitars, and just winds up being easier to swallow then the rest of the album.

When you break it all down, Anger Roots and Rock N’ Roll by Engrained isn’t really a bad EP given some of it’s faults. Sure the vocals and musical approach on “Traitor” may seem a bit over the top, but if you give it a few spins it will grow on you over time, though probably won’t be your favorite track off the album, and there’s tracks and moments that feel more inspired to be stand alone songs within a certain style then a well composed molding of styles, but in the end this EP will appeal to the Punk and Hardcore communities with Engrained‘s signature sound. It’s also just something different and worth checking out by people outside of these musical realms as well, so if you get the chance to at least sample this band’s latest material, it’s suggested you take the time to do so.

01. Traitor – 2:58
02. Pretty City – 2:03
03. Leave You Behind – 3:26
04. Rock ‘n’ Roll Scum – 4:18
05. Plastic Bomb (Poison Bomb Convergence) – 2:55
Initial Pressing Score: 6/10

Engrained
Engrained

Digital review copy of this release provided by SPV Records via Freeman Promotions.