Tuesday, January 26, 2016

RECORD REVIEW: Who Was I - "What I've Become"

Who Was I
What I've Become

I realize that it's still way
too early to get caught up
in a "Record of the Year"
scenario. But speaking
to the nü-metal genre
specifically (for now), this
record is gonna be a hard
one to beat. Really hard.

Since first popping up on the U.S. underground metal radar in 2007, their story has been a raucous roller-coaster ride — one that's seen numerous successes, along with a fair share of heartbreaking setbacks peppered with dashes of old fashioned intra-band turmoil — all pinned against a blood-stained, whiskey-soaked backdrop that reads: WHO WAS I. However, founding frontman Darin Faux (Fox) and guitarist Steve Harvey are bona fide survivors — having now pulled their often dysfunctional family through the rock and roll muck and mire successfully for nearly a decade. And the pay off? The band's newly-released sophomore record, What I've Become.

Who Was I headquarters, located
near the east Florida swamps.
(I see blood stains!)
Who Was I is, fundamentally, a hard rock street band — albeit an extremely pissed-off hard rock street band. And that's what makes this record work. These guys have been in the game long enough to know exactly how to create a brand of high-octane metal that's both authentic and innovative. From start-to-finish, What I've Become delivers heaping helpings of good ol' lung-bursting screamin', mixed with melodic Dickinson-caliber vocals, combined with Russian machine factory-style drum work and non-stop whiplash-inducing bass riffs. And while I certainly don't mean to pigeon hole Harvey's chunkin'-and-gunkin', I will wager a bet that he's still got a half-melted cassette copy of Cowboys from Hell buried at the bottom of the glove compartment in his '78 Camaro — just beneath the expired registration. But the really cool thing about the record (for me) is that all of this metal mayhem revolves around well-crafted songs. GASP! As a result, even a seemingly "square peg" like the remake of the Doobie Brothers' classic, "Long Train Runnin'," makes for a perfect, and very clever fit. Other noteworthy golden highlights include, "Inside of You," "Over and Over," "Undertow" and "Falling Fast."

Who Was I co-founder, guitarist Steve Harvey,
pulled up in his '78 Camaro and personally
delivered my press copy of What I've Become.
In sum, with What I've Become, Who Was I has produced a world-class record  one that stands easily nose-to-nose with any other contenders cemented currently in the "Nü Release" section of any global neighborhood music joint.

But for now, I really gotta get a move on — after experiencing this nut-crusher in one sitting, I feel compelled to go out tonight and break stuff!

-Christopher Long
(January 2016)


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1 comment:

  1. I read that in your voice! And, I agree. Its a GREAT album!