Built Back Up From Self-Destruction

Written by: PP on 27/08/2010 15:56:52

"Built Back Up From Self-Destruction" is the debut album by Portland and Vancouver based Restruct. It takes but one listen to the opening track "Change" to notice a remarkable similarity to early Staind releases, particularly their best release "Break The Cycle" from 2001, the one that featured mega hits like "It's Been A While". In fact, the first note I jotted down when starting on this review a few weeks ago was "first song - Staind #2?". It really is that similar, maybe even to the point that calling Restruct a Staind clone wouldn't be entirely out of question. They definitely wear their influences visibly on their sleeve.

But hey, that's perfectly fine with me. Staind used to be one of my favorite bands ten years ago (yeah I was big on alternative rock / nu metal back then), and Restruct deliver a faithful and impressive rendition of the best moments from those guys. They rely on very similar elements: sweeping vocal melodies, big and crunchy riffs that are tailor made for stadium audiences, the occasional acoustic guitar placed in front of the electric guitars to add a soft spot to the songs, and lots and lots of depressed melancholy pasted all around the soundscape. Plus unlike most other bands deriving from successful groups, Restruct have a couple of strong things going for them that rate the album far above any Staind release from the last half a decade, at least in my books.

Firstly, they are instrumentally very proficient. They spice up the alterna-rock sound with metallic and technical solos, plus the odd headbangable riff here and there. Lead guitarist Colin Fault has good understanding of how to combine the simple and the more complex to create a working guitar dynamic that's sure to simultaneously appeal to modern rock radios in the US, but also to the less mainstream oriented listeners. Moreover, frontman Freeman Belmont is one hell of a vocalist. Some may accuse him of owning a particularly whiny voice, but God damn does he have some pipes. Melancholic clean croons are easily on par with Aaron Lewis (Staind), and the rougher parts recall the dude from Three Days Grace, giving a nice contrast between the heavy and the soft sections. And that's essentially what "Built Back Up From Self-Destruction" is all about, a contrast between heavy, metallic tracks and soft, touching ballads. Having a vocalist like Belmont sing softly over quiet ballads is perfect for music like that given the immense emotion found within, and as for the heavy parts, the crunching guitars versus rough-patched vocals work their magic nicely, too. As long as you don't mind the obvious parallels to some (now faded away) stars from the last decade, modern alternative rock / hard rock doesn't come much better than Restruct without sounding dated and superficial.


Download: Change, Alcohol
For the fans of: Staind, Three Days Grace, Seether, Smile Empty Soul
Listen: Myspace

Release date 14.01.2010

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