Memento: Beginnings
Mike Hess
6/28/2003 7:11:57 AM

When I sat down and spun Memento's Beginnings [Columbia], I was hit with a wave of fatigue, but most of all, an overbearing sense of paranoia: Either I'm getting old, or mainstream rock is really, really shitty.

After much brain-wrangling, I decided upon the latter.

That's not to say that I feel Memento is a bad band - just that they're pigeon-holed into a bad genre of over-Pro Tooled, uninventive, meandering filler that's waiting for a band like Nirvana to come around serving as the finishing bullet to the head. (Sorry about that analogy, Kurt.)

Where are the bands that tell the current trend to go fuck itself and seek to carve out their own niche? What happened to the bands that took a stand, or even the ones that were able to execute a song about a botched relationship properly?

You see, I'd like to take Memento seriously, but I just can't. I can't because two band members call themselves "Space" and "Lats." This is the type of shit that spawns a murderous, psychotropic grandeur in my understimulated, twisted brain:

Lats: "Hey Space, want to hit the gym?"
Space: "Nah, bro. I'm going to take some shrooms, watch The Wall and feed the gerbil some PCP."
Lats: "Bummer, dude. I'm totally going to max out my abs. Like, hardcore. Is my barbed-wire tattoo on my arm getting any bigger?"

Memento is quite Mudvayn-ian in their content - actually, damn near exactly lyrically, but not so much vocally or sonically. Mudvayne adds -- er, used to add before their last album -- a bass-fueled math-metal raunch to set it apart from bands like Staind and Linkin Park... and bands like Memento.

Take the title track of the album, an already-been-done, breathy song about a deadbeat dad with little to no vigor or zip. Ditto goes for "Below", taking hints from a bit of Tool and a large chunk of Disturbed. They even throw in a little Christianity for good measure in tracks like "Saviour" and a handful of others. No religion in rock. Please. I'm begging now. Separataion of church and rock.

Sorry, Memento. You're probably catching the unfair wrath accumulated from having to listen to lots of shitty radio rock lately. What will it take for a band to lead, and not follow? Maybe file-sharing will do it, rather than having labels capitalize on one sound by flooding the market. You want people to notice you? Be different, dammit. Lay off the digitized sound. Stop doing the whisper-to-talk-to-sing-to-scream thing in order to build a climax during a song.

Use your heart instead.


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