|©1999 I:and:I Records
7. Oldworld Underground
First impression after popping in the CD: "this band sounds just like Sepultura." Well, there are differences, but the San Jose-based Stitch do borrow heavily from Sepultura's more recent material and Max Cavalera's Soulfly. Grooved-up aggro-metal with tribal percussion is what they play, and Stitch execute more than competently. Simplistic and unadorned rhythms with strong repeated hooks help make catchy songs, and they become distinct after a few listens. Their thrashier moments are reminiscent of Machine Head, and the spirited last track, "Stir", stirs up impressions of Tool. A rather flat production, however, enfeebles what would otherwise be an intense album - but come on, you think they could have afforded Dan Swanö's services?
The lyrics speak of racial and civic injustice, returning to one's ethnic roots, inner emotional turmoil, again suggestive of Sepultura. Songs like "Cholo" and "Old World Underground" are written in rhyming couplets that stick in your head like paint to a wall. The ideas, rather cliched by themselves, are conveyed effectively through the music. The lyrics are mostly screamed, though Stitch take a stab at clean singing on "Stir." There is very little filler material here, a problem that beleaguers both Sepultura's Roots and Soulfly's self-titled album.
For the uninitiated, Stitch's self-titled effort is a nice debut and a pleasant surprise. I'd like to hear them break away from the Sepultura stock-formula, but fans of the Brazilian legends are encouraged to give Stitch a try.
Review by Jeffrey Shyu
Review date: 11/1999