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Stacked Rubbish
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  • The Gazette belong to a newer breed of visual kei artists -- essentially a local brand of nu-metal without the rap vocals (bar intro track, in this case). The style is clich?d to the point where the Japanese government must begin thinking of putting certain chords and melodies under protection from overuse; some bands don't mind it, as long as the clich?s are good (High and Mighty Color), others try to stretch the paradigm, often with spectacular failure (Orange Range). The Gazette are closer to the latter, but while their attempts to bring something new to the mould don't always succeed, the good songs outweigh the bad. The band's main strength is its ability to combine heaviness and melody without compromising either -- which only sounds simple, as too many groups either stick to the safety of pop/rock (UVERworld) or revel in their musical machismo (the fittingly named Maximum the Hormone). The Gazette manage to interweave somber melodies and bluesy/R & B female vocals in their chugga-chugga fests, as well as In Flames homages ("Agony") -- and, honestly, that's all that's needed to make Stacked Rubbish a good album. However, the band also dabbles in jazz-rock, with results being never more than passable, and sometimes sucky. The very idea seems misjudged, because the jazziness breaks the serious and angry mood that the Gazette goes for -- but thankfully the band has the good sense to fence the experiments with punchier, riff-heavy songs that dominate on the CD. ~ Alexey Eremenko
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