EKOTREN’S LIGHT THE FIRE DOESN’T LIGHT MY FIRE
It’s a little surprising that a band like EkoTren exists in 2008. What isn’t surprising is that bassist Derek DeSantis used to be in Twisted Method and that Light the Fire was produced by Paul Trust, who has worked with the likes of Endo and Diecast – because most of this album seems like chunky, poppy nu-metal slightly re-jiggered to fit more current trends.
Look: these dudes clearly know how write a decent hook, and they seem to do the whole Swedish dual-guitar harmonies thing well enough; if they allowed their music to edge a little more towards the raw side, they might even have a decent album in them. But their arrangements are totally generic, and Trust’s way-too-slick production isn’t helping any: the choruses (clean sung, natch) are auto-tuned to the point where it sounds like they’re being crooned by the Decibot. And, oh yeah, songs that seem fit for a band like Ill Nino (EkoTren’s one time tour mates), like “Become” and “Tranqualized,” are just annoying as all get out, and need to be cut from the band’s repertoire ASAP.
“You need to hear this,” vocalist John Sheldon screams during “Paper Thin.” Unfortunately for him and his bandmates, you probably don’t.
(two out of five horns)