undefinable, and undeniable

Rust (Atlantic)

By Kevin Gibson

Bands like Rust (actually, the official band logo is lowercase and upside down, but you get the point) impress me because it is obvious from the beginning they have put absolutely no effort whatsoever into having a certain sound.

When this California quartet straps on the Stratocasters, they play what they play, not what they think they should play. I guess that's what alternative rock was all about in the beginning, whenever that was.

On this outfit's seven-song, self-titled debut, the non-goal is reached with a high level of success. You get seven different songs with a variety of messages and stories from bashing mankind's apathy and evil nature to a few inside looks at slightly diseased minds.

In the meantime, Czar Michael Suzick plays an effective lead guitar without dominating the band too much. He stretches from metal licks to some punk-influenced lead and even into some softer chords mixed in here and there to add dimension.

John b. chimes in with some passionate lead vocal performances which seems to complement the music remarkably well.

Seven songs, though? Oh well, that will just leave more for a follow-up album. If it's half as good as the debut, I might have to pick one up myself.

first volley from another genre-blender