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Slow down as you approach the gate, and have your change ready....
Artist: Five Fifty
Label: Exhaust Records
I really wanted to like this album. To me, stoner rock is an often overlooked genre, with great artists like Alice in Chains, Trouble, or Queens of the Stone Age/Kyuss as examples of what I hope to hear. Five Fifty claims to be in the same genre as Clutch, QOTSA, or Monster Magnet, but don’t come across nearly as heavily as any of the bands on Get Clean.
What does stand out here is singer Ed Reyes’ guitar. It would be easy to picture him standing alongside Bruce Franklin and performing anything in the Trouble catalog. Unfortunately, the songs don’t hold up to the standards set by the music. They are redundant to the point where the only distinguishable track is “Running Away,” and that is due to Matt McDonald stepping in on lead vocals.
“Numb” and “Your Generation” are the two best songs on the CD. If only seven other songs didn’t sound exactly like them, Five Fifty would be on to something. This may be due to the band reuniting after a seven year hiatus, but that’s hard to determine. Get Clean just falls short of expectations.
Brian A. Smith