originally posted on Saturday, 26 April 2014
Do you remember around the early 2000’s or so how many alternative bands seemed to come out, not all exactly sounding the same but having similarities such as their slow and heavy tunes, not so happy lyrics and kind of a neo-grunge attitude? Bands that come to mind are Three Days Grace, Deftones, Shinedown, Breaking Benjamin, etc. This is the kind of alternative rock sound I think anyone would use to describe Divot’s sound.
While a lot of these artists are still making music, that wave of a genre seemed to have ended, even having bands like Shinedown releasing Nickelback sounding stuff now. Other bands like Deftones and Chevelle are still staying true to their known sound, just evolving a bit with maturity. Divot falls right in there alongside those names and stands as one of few new bands that I’ve been given, at least, recently, to really try to make music that sounds like that.
Their EP To Shape The Mold is filled with songs like opening track One Up which has a slow and loud guitar riff and listenable disturbing singing by singer/guitarist Cliff Hodson and offbeat drum beats by drummer Jeffrey Siptrott which are all essential to this type of alternative rock. Then there is songs like Succubus which has a relatively easy to remember chorus and the song Downer which seems to have turned up Paul Felix’s bass, because I seem to hear it more in this song than any other. It even has a simple and yet noticeable guitar solo which I enjoyed.
By the time you get to the final two tracks Divide and Stay, you realize that they truly are like the previously mentioned bands in the sense that their songs don’t change much. Sure they all have different melodies and riffs, but the style doesn’t change from always being slow and dark.
This is the paragraph where I’ll be brutally honest; Divot’s main flaw is their similarity to Chevelle. I could be polite and say they are a mix of Deftones and Chevelle, but realistically the only thing that differentiates those two bands is the singing for the most part, and Divot’s Cliff Hodson has a voice pretty damn similar to Pete Loeffler, even the way he uses it; kind of soft and a bit whiny, which is fine, and capable of adding some intensity, which is even better, but it’s just too similar. Realistically I like Cliff’s voice very much. the band is practically carried by its vocals. The band is going to have to change something about their sound, step out of their comfort zone, if they want to get real attention.
Based on To Shape The Mold, I believe the band will evolve in the right direction though, their song writing tells me they are smarter than most bands out there. I thoroughly enjoy the lyrics and the melodies that they play and their integrity is all there to be admired by the right listener.
“Downer” – Placed at the perfect part of the EP, smack dab in the middle, is what I consider the most melodic and well written track on the album. It’s easy to remember upon having listened to maybe only twice, and not to mention it has that guitar solo that I enjoyed. The band is in full swing here, making for the perfect highlight because it shows them really trying to give it their all.
6.5 (Out of 10)