Thursday, July 25, 2013

Fight Or Flight - A Life By Design? (2013)

Earlier this year, we heard Disturbed singer David Draiman and his side project Device strike us with mild strength and a bad copy of Disturbed music. Now the turn has come to the guitarist Dan Donegan and drummer Mike Wengren to show of what they can do outside of Disturbed. The project is named Fight Or Flight and in the band, we also have Dan Chandler on vocals, Sean Corcoran on bass and Jeremy Jameson on rhythm guitar. The debut album is named "A Life By Design?" and on the cover is corn wrapped in barb wire, a scare crow with a puking crow, and a heroin addicted snake. A pretty fucked up cover I would say.

Anyhow, you will immediately notice two things with Fight Or Flight's music. The first thing is that it is not like Disturbed, which is a relief. The sound is instead classic American rock music that stays away from the Disturbed frames (except for some crunchy guitar riffs here and there). The other notable thing is that the rest of the album is not like the single and the opening track "First of the Last". "First of The Last" is a fast and groovy song that has several interesting parts like the catchy chorus and cool solo. Sadly, this is the only one of its kind in "A Life By Design?" since the rest of the songs are more or less typical American hard rock that is far from original. Too bad, since "First of The Last" is the clear king of the hill.

The rest of the songs are more or less copies of each other. Pretty slow paced songs that puts their energy in creating something meaningful or some kind of feeling. A couple of these songs in a album is okay, but "A Life By Design" is completely packed with these kinds of songs, which kills the variation completely. But if we look past the lack of variation and instead focus our sight on the song quality, then it is not that bad. I could easily have asked for more memorability in the songs, but they are enough to make me sit there and swing my head back and forth some bit.

Some of the small gems I find in this haze have something that makes them a little more interesting than the rest. For instance, "Leaving" impresses with its acoustic part and "Eraser" has some crunchy riffs and a good chorus. I also like the different approach they take in "A Void" where they try to mediate a sense of hopelessness in the music. But are there any low points in "A Life By Design?"? I do not think so, but since there are so many songs that are so similar, they do not get the recognition they probably would have gotten if they would have been put in a different record. But if I had to chose the weakest track, then I would say that the closer "Tragedy" is the winner.

The winner of the Disturbed hiatus fight is Fight Or Flight, mostly because they are trying something outside their box. The music in "A Life By Design?" may not be new nor innovative, but it is still enjoyable. If the band works out to create more catchier tunes and put in more variation, then I think Fight Or Flight may have a future, at least until Disturbed stops their hiatus.

Songs worthy of recognition: First of The Last, Leaving, Eraser

Rating: 6/10 Sacrifices

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