Album review

Various : Underworld
Roadrunner Records

Various : UnderworldAll the big rock 'n' roll names are there: Wes Borland, John Frusciante, and David Bowie, not to mention some great bands like Finch, The Icarus Line and Dillinger Escape Plan. Even so, it's very middle-of-the-road soundtrack stuff; neither good nor bad.

The Damning Well kick off the dark and dreary proceedings with Awakening, featuring an all-star team of Wes Borland, Richard Patrick, Josh Freese and ex-Nine Inch Nails man Danny Lohner.
    Soundtracks, in my own opinion, have to be viewed under a much less intense light. They are not in the same league as regular albums. For example, can you name a revolutionary soundtrack?
    So looking at it this way, The Damning Well provide the pick of the bunch; a track not so heavy, but thrashy and melodic. The riffs are far less processed than that of Borland's ex-nu metal giants Limp Bizkit, and endeavour more towards a Filter-esque sound, which no doubt suits Richard Patrick down to the ground.
    Rev 22.20 by Puscifer sounds like a slow, rumbling Muse song, piano included, whilst a macabre female vocal track lies somewhere in the distance. As you can tell, it's not exactly a collection of upbeat pop songs, but nor is it a collection of heavy rock songs, because along the way we are presented with slamming cyber techno from Skinny Puppy and the typically refined stylings of David Bowie, as well as dawdling instrumental pieces from Renholder.

Despite its genre hopping, the problem with this soundtrack is that it's so average. There are no songs on here you will warm to and listen to time after time, and it's bereft of the usual foundation of hits and chart-toppers.
    I hate to say it, but Evanescence's chart stormer Bring Me To Life transformed the soundtrack to the less-than-brilliant Daredevil movie, while Limp Bizkit's admittedly contagious Take A Look Around helped to shift a few copies of the M:I2 compilation. Underworld could certainly do with something similar.

You could be quite content with this CD - the variation of artists and genres does give it some appeal - but I still think it needs a big name with a big hit single to get off the ground. Not bad, but you won't be listening to it frequently.

:: Graham Drummond

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