|Alternative Rock, Horror Punk, Punk Rock
Hollywood Waste Records
Release length: 18:05
The Mechanical Heart definitely has one thing going for it right out the gate, and it’s that darker atmosphere it has, similar to a more artistic and emotionally driven Gothic sound with a modern Alternative Rock and Punk Rock sound. This gives the release more of a unique sound, though New Year’s Day is not the first to do such a concept. Of course some songs have a stronger atmospheric push then others, such as “Resurrection” compared to the catchier, easier going “Let’s Get Dead.” Musically the EP’s quality is pretty clean and modern, which is what you would expect for this more radio friendly act. Musically it’s not too heavy and gives off an accessible sound that works with the varying modern Rock sounds, and the bass basically just back up the guitars. The snares and bass kicks both sound rather hollow, which is another aspect to the audio quality that seems to lurk despite it’s sleeker sound, and the cymbols, as well as tamborine, are not too loud but make enough of an impact for what the band is going for musically. “Murder” includes some keyboards, and of all the instruments, these feel the richest, really giving it that additional push with the bass that the release seems to lacking.
Though the darker atmosphere really works out for the band when it comes into play, the album’s musical approach is so heavily varied that some of the songs just sound random and even awkward to one another. “Two in the Chest, One in the Head” will bring in memories of In This Moment mixed with some Industrial elements that go into some catchy modern female fronted Rock for the chorus. While this matches the tone of the album laid out by the introduction track “I, Machine” and “Resurrection,” the song itself feels a bit awkward coming off the more keyboard driven “Murder.” At the same time, “Murder” feels award against the more accessible and lighter sounding “Let’s Get Dead.” This becomes one of the EP’s biggest faults, as the band tries to show off what they can do here, but do too much in too small a release.
With that aside, The Mechanical Heart is not a bad album, and even doesn’t really come off too traditional or generic. The darker tone of the release definitely helps it out, but at the same time it’s like another Halestorm or any female fronted Alternative Rock act at this point. While this is damning, New Years Day at least sounds good and doesn’t fall prey to the constant cheap and repetitive sound of today’s successful acts of this style, and often some of the song do end up sounding very emotional without going into the Emo field. That track’s more Horror Punk-esque keyboard contributions sound nice during most of the song before going into a more Gothic Rock sounding chorus that is simply infectious.
But, that could be said for every chorus on here, as they all feature some strong female clean singing vocals with catchy hooks in the music. “Let’s Get Dead” is really the only song that doesn’t find the chorus to be more Alternative Rock oriented, and takes on a more Punk Rock tone then anything among the catchier yet slightly creepy atmosphere laid out through the carnival-esque sounds the band incorporates from the instruments and samples. But of all the songs on this release, “Murder” ends up being the song that really ends up not being that great a song. The track illicits memories of Marilyn Manson‘s song “Rock is Dead” with eighties Synth-Rock. It’s not necessarily a bad song, but at the same time it feels like you’ve heard it a million times before, as if ripped off directly from a band like The Eurythmics. Not to mention it sounds like song just cuts right out at the end, like there was more to it but opted to just end it at a poor moment since there seems to be a slight moment of guitar that hangs in there. Despite this glitch, the band makes up for it with a strong, heavy, and again somewhat dark closing track with “It’s Alive,” though it’s another song you’ll feel like you heard once before, though largely thanks to the chorus. Even with that in play, the song’s generally stormy and emotional performance does come through pretty strong and makes for an easy going song you can just unwind to thanks to the beautiful, yet somewhat preppy sounding female vocals.
New Years Day is definitely an interesting mix. The gloomier, dark tones the music will definitely take the listener by surprise despite their taste in music, and the material the band comes up with is not too shabby either, though sometimes it can feel like you’ve heard it before elsewhere, though not a direct cover of any song. The tracks vary in the style of music being incorporated, having a modern Alternative sound to it, a Punk Rock sound, a Synth-Rock track, and even a heavily Industrial sounding cut. It’s hard to figure out what direction the band is trying to go for, but if it weren’t for the awkwardness of the varying musical approaches to each song, you could easily say they are linked by the depressing tone each one brings with it. For what New Years Day tries to accomplish on The Mechanical Heart, you have to give the group the respect they deserve. The EP is a nice showing of power, and those more into the mainstream Rock sound of today but want something edgier, or even fans of acts like In This Moment, will definitely find something to enjoy with this release.
01. I, Machine – 0:51
02. Resurrection – 3:08
03. Let’s Get Dead – 2:56
04. Murder – 2:51
05. Two in the Chest, One in the Head – 3:22
06. It’s Alive – 4:55
|Overall Score: 7/10
Digital review copy of this release provided by Hollywood Waste Records.