Audiotopsy – Natural Causes

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I’ll admit it. I’m one of those dudes who would like to have another Mudvayne album. I really would. I’d actually settle for a final tour just to get a proper sense of closure for that band. But I’ll just keep waiting.

In the meantime though, the artists formerly known as Mudvayne, particularly guitarist Greg Tribbett, have stayed busy in a variety of bands. Tribbett was doing time with vocalist Chad Gray in the musically inferior Vinnie Paul project Hellyeah until he walked in 2013. Wasting little time he recruited Mudvayne drummer Matt McDonough, Skrape singer Billy Keeton and bassist Perry Stern for a “progressive hard rock” act dubbed Audiotopsy. I’m not sure about the progressive tag, but the music on Natural Causes (Napalm) tends to fluctuate from alternative metal to post-grunge. 

On paper the idea of Tribbett and McDonough working together again seems awesome, but the angular and off-kilter Mudvayne rhythms are nowhere to be found here. The closest we get to those days is on ‘Distorted’ and ‘Darken the Rainbow,’ but even then it’s more Lost and Found rather than L.D. 50. And that’s fine because this is a new band and they’re capable of producing their own interesting moments. The best bits on Natural Causes are the songs more in line with grunge (God, I hate that word) like ‘LYLAB’ and ‘The Calling.’ Then you have the strongest track ‘Swim’ which also happens to be the closest to mellow.

Natural Causes starts to show its cracks with songs like ‘Headshot’ and ‘Burn the Sky’ as they feel more like placeholders as opposed to fleshed out compositions. It could have been a noteworthy EP as opposed to a full length that’s been padded out with ideas that haven’t been fully realized. Do we really need interlude ‘H20’ smack in the middle of the album or the three-minute title track outro? Who does outros?

Maybe we can chalk it up to the short gestation period between band formation and album release. These are the growing pains that lead to musical polish. It’s fine, I can wait.

5.5/10

HANSEL LOPEZ

Hopscotch Music Festival Confirm Line Up

hopscotch fest 2015

Hopscotch Music Festival, dubbed “America’s (Secretly) Best Festival” and “the premiere experimental and underground festival in America,” returns September 10-12, 2015, to downtown Raleigh, NC at Raleigh City Plaza. Confirmed artists performing include:

Ace Henderson
Acid Chaperone
Advaeta
American Aquarium
Ameriglow
Bandages
Battles
Big Ups
Birds of Avalon
Black Clouds
Blaxxx
Booher
Boulevards
Breathers
Brief Lives
Bully
Cakes Da Killa
Carlitta Durand
Cashmere Cat
Chaz French
Chelsea Wolfe
Choked Out
Chulo
Clark
Cloud Becomes Your Hand
Dad & Dad
Daniel Romano
Deerhunter
DJ Earl
Dorthia Cottrell
Drippy Inputs
Dwight Yoakam
Echo Courts
Elisa Ambrogio
Escher
EYEHATEGOD
Eyes Low
Father
FAULTS
Flock of Dimes
Fórn
Godflesh
Godspeed You! Black Emperor
GoldLink
Grand Champeen
Grandma Sparrow
Hank Wood & The Hammerheads
Hanz
HeCTA
Ian William Craig
Jake Xerxes Fussell
Jefre Cantu-Ledesma
Jenks Miller & Rose Cross NC
Jenny Hval
Jessica Pratt
John Chantler
Jubilee
Keath Mead
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard
Las Rosas
Lawrence English
Le1F
Leapling
Less Western
Leverage Models
Lilac Shadows
Lizzo
Lost Trail
Loud Boyz
Lud
Luxe Posh
Lydia Loveless
Mac McCaughan
Mamiffer
Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler
May Erwin
Microkingdom
Mitski
Moenda
Moon Duo
Morbids
Mumdance
Must Be The Holy Ghost
Naked Naps
Natalie Prass and the Spacebomb Orchestra
Nathan Golub
Natural Causes
New Music Raleigh: Music by Oscar Bettison and Evan Ziporyn
Nick James
No Love
Nocando
Nots
Obey City
OBN IIIs
Old Man Gloom
Oulipo
Outer Spaces
Owen Pallett
Patois Counselors
Peacers
Phil Cook presents Southland Mission
Pile
Pill
Porches
Prurient
Pusha T
River Whyless
Roky Erickson
Sannhet
Sarah Louise
Secret Boyfriend
Sheer Mag
Shitty Boots
Silent Lunch
SkyBlew
SMLH
Solar Halos
Some Army
Soon
Steve Gunn & The Black
Twig Pickers
Tashi Dorji
The Vibekillers
thefacesblur
Tombs
TV on the Radio
Tycho
TZYVYX
Wahyas
Warehouse
Wildhoney
Wizard Rifle
Wovenhand
WYMYNS PRYSYN
X
Yandrew
Zack Mexico
Zeena Parkins
Zs