Fourth Rotor


Fourth Rotor - Seize ©2002 Electric Noise
1. Chupa Chumps
2. Hooks
3. Woodland Taco
4. Flim-flam Man
5. Easy Target
6. The Anti-building
7. Backbone Made Out Of Wind
8. Wo Shi Yi Ge Bing
9. Done Been Gone

In a time when most new bands have decided that the best way to express themselves in a musical medium is to whine about relationships while halfheartedly strumming guitars, bands like Chicago's Fourth Rotor are truly a breath of fresh air. We're talking the difference between being caught in a smokefilled club surrounded by sweaty jocks who haven't showered since winning the big game in 1998 and a flower-filled garden in the middle of a tropical oasis. (For the record, Fourth Rotor falls into the latter half of the analogy, for those who have already gotten lost in this review. Goddammit, get a compass.)

Fourth Rotor's style is inspired by the likes of Minutemen, Fugazi and other post-punk bands who aren't afraid of having an individual identity as well as the ability to actually play their instruments with a degree of proficiency. Seize, the band's first full length release, is a nifty concoction of jagged, angular rock with forceful vocals and impressive skewed rhythms. In the spirit of bands like the aforementioned Minutemen, Fourth Rotor seems to understand the beauty of giving each instrument the proper amount of space within the production and bouncing the focal point around the jam room. More impressive is the fact that these folks can change up tempos at the drop of a hat, while still retaining the thread of the song. Too many bands try to change things up but never actually come up with a unifying song. It's one thing to have a bunch of riffs and call it "math rock" or whatever goofball label is being tossed around by self serving rock journalists, but it's another to actually make the riffs, changes and left turns work in unison.

With a solid, highly enjoyable debut album under their belts, Fourth Rotor should have a bright future in front of them. And the next time you see a new band think it's cool to either mimic pop punkers or whatever emo band is popular these days, do me a favor and kick them in the shins.

Review by John Chedsey

Review date: 05/2005

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