Album Reviews

Defenestration – Ray Zero

UK release date: 13 October 2003


Having never felt the urge to throw anyone out of a window, I was oblivious to the fact that there is a verb in the English language to describe such violence. However there is, and I now have the desire to do it, just so I can say I have defenestrated somebody!

This quintet of musicians with high glazing bills are all about balls out rock and roll. Songs like Hit Miss Or Maybe, Wooden Man and Away Or Dead all start with rampantly catchy riffs which spawn images of mass hysteria in a live setting. Ray Zero is their sophomore album is comprised of 14 songs – pure unadulterated homegrown talent although not one to play for your Gran.

If you made the mistake of playing the opening track, Blood Song at full blast, you would be thrown (out of the window!) by its sheer blast of metal power. Piercing feedback throws you head on abruptly into to the amiable vocals of Gen, who sounds like Courtney Love having her vocal chords shredded with a grater.

The charming F**k Defen. is a sure crowd pleaser, complete with crunching grimy riffs, drums more driving than Schumacher and harmonies to put Evanescence to shame. Do not assume from that multi-platinum comparison however that Defenestration are anything other than Underground British Metal – they may look all of sixteen but they play with the brutality of veterans. I Want To Kill is full on punk/stoner riffage with a wailing lick, underneath Gen’s signature vocals which mutate from a punk whine into something all together more disturbing.

Produced by Mark Daghorn (One Minute Silence) at New Rising Studios, Ray Zero has a very raw, nearly under produced sound to it, which, were the band located Stateside would be swapped for big bucks, ultra-high tech gadgetry to manufacture a crisper tight alt. radio vibe.

Would this benefit Defenestration? This has more of a feel of a demo album, which will either lead them to a major label or become a cult classic. Rising bands who surpass themselves live are often dealt severe injustices on record, and one can’t help but feel this is the case with this Northern bunch. A band this brutal not only deserves to be seen live, it should be mandatory to buy gig tickets with the album.

Firm believers in not beating around the bush, only one song passes the 4 minute mark, but with so much shoved into each slice, this record packs a mean punch. However, punch or no punch, the difference between a good band and a great one has to be the strength of the songs across an album. By this yardstick, Defenestration are a good band but need to take the writing up a notch to really hit the mark. However, there is plenty of time to watch this lot grow – here’s to the future of the window smashers!


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Defenestration – Ray Zero