Album: The War Inside Me
Blurb: Some of Gary Zon’s most impressive work to date contained in an album that will, unfortunately, leave his audience with their own internal war.
It quickly becomes obvious that The War Inside Me is a bit of a change of pace from the moping, self-pitying Dismantled seen as recently 2007’s When I’m Dead. This time out, Zon and company have crafted a rough, bleak, aggressive, and angry album that manages to feel as if it has been coated in a layer of filth and grime. Adding to this impression, Zon belts out some cruder than usual lyrics on many of the album’s tracks as he apparently channels his inner gangster rapper, singing about murder, sex, and self-destruction, sometimes all at the same time, apparently living out many of his agro dreams in musical format.
Dismantled continues to show a keen sense for strong hooks and great choruses in tracks like “Insecthead,” “Dead On Impact,” and “The Whore Inside Me,” each acting as the pitch perfect example of the album’s tortured sound and nihilistic themes. Unfortunately, despite how well put together and memorable many of the album’s tracks are, there are a few massive misfires like “Kill or be Killed,” which features a bland, unwavering 4/4 rhythm with vocals that struggle to find any sort of interconnection with the music. There are also tracks that push Zon’s attempts at edgy drama into the realm of the absurd. The end of the album is especially disappointing; starting with “Scrape the Bullets,” Dismantled descends into a downright ridiculous series of juvenile violent fantasies including the questionable taste of the ballad “Black Heart” where Zon croons about the binding, torturing, and murdering of someone, which, with a little work on the rhyming scheme, seems like it could easily be appropriated by lowbrow shock acts like the Insane Clown Posse.
In terms of feel and flow, The War Inside Me is easily Dismantled’s most consistent album and hosts some of its most impressive work to date, but the tail end of it leaves such an unfortunate bad taste that it mars the rest of the album and leaves the listener doubting and second guessing what has been heard previously. Early on, Zon’s attempts to be edgy generally work quite well and give his work a raw, blistering power, but by the end, it feels as if he is just trying far too hard to be shocking and the “I’m so dark and evil” posturing becomes laughable. The War Inside Me is exceptionally well focused and it’s the sort of album people will really want to love, but many will find themselves coming away conflicted.
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Trubie Turner (Flexei)