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Music Review: Ninetail – Half Truths & Hand Grenades

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Never heard of these guys before, and for once it seems like the reason is legitimate. Ninetail is a Pennsylvania based band that is still in the process of rising to prominence. Since forming in 2005, they have been a hardworking act covering more than half of the continental United States on a variety of tours, on which they were able to share the stage with a number of national acts.

The release of Half Truths & Hand Grenades, their second full length, sees the band continuing their high volume touring as they seek to make inroads into the market and gain a larger following. The question now is whether or not they deserve any attention. Is their music any good? I have to say that it is somewhere in the mediocre range.

The band features detuned jackhammering riffs, punishing drums, and a vocal delivery that likely shreds the throat on a regular basis. This is in your face metal, it seems to be designed to be shouted or growled from a distance of 12 inches or less.

I can almost see their show, the band furiously tearing it up onstage while their vocalist, microphone gripped firmly in his right hand, jumps head long and fearless into the pit of surging bodies. Once landing, he continues to scream, veins protruding from his neck and forehead as spittle sprays the mic and the faces of the teenagers doing their best to shout along before some big, burly bouncer pulls him back onstage. It is quite the sight.

Unfortunately, that does not mean their music is good. What it does mean is that their live show is likely a lively affair, and sometimes that is what you need. I have found that when confronted with a band live and in the flesh, even if their music is somewhat lacking it is much easier to get into it, what with the energy that a concert crowd brings to experiencing live music.

As for the music that Ninetail plays, it reminds me a bit of American Head Charge with a touch of Lamb of God. However, they are nowhere near the level of those two acts (in particular War of Art-era American Head Charge). This sextet throws a lot at their music and definitely succeed at making a listenable, if mediocre album.

The main problem lies with the music feeling infectious but hardly original. It is the kind of music I feel I will put on when I just want some generic heavy music to play without having to think about. Although, even then I may choose something else.

The more I listen, the more I hear potential in this band. Their style is aggressive and fearless. With a little more ingenuity and creativity, they could take it all to the next level. They go for the gusto, with detuned guitars, keyboards and audio samples. There are a lot of tools here, conjuring visions of a less polished Mushroomhead or Dope. Whether or not they have what it takes to go the next step will be interesting to see.

Songs to focus on: "Trials of a Madman," "Superpsycho," and the title track, "Half Truths & Hand Grenades."

Mildly Recommended.

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