Album: Los Angeles Synthetic
Despite trying my best to always be impartial and fair, I’m going to be a bit negative in this one. I’m going to skip journalistic integrity and just tell you what I think. Bear with me.
I’ve heard of System Syn. I’m not sure why. From what little I’ve heard, it’s not overly impressive and I really don’t know why their name existed in my mind even before I bothered listening to their music, despite the fact that I can’t remember anyone ever mentioning them before.
FAKE is the side-project of System Syn, in case you’re wondering about the segue here. And I can’t say that FAKE is really much more impressive.
The album starts off well enough with “Non Event”, which sounds like a totally generic rip-off of a Suicide Commando track, which is fine by me, as it’s a well-done rip-off and is actually pretty goon on its own. Then the album takes a nosedive into inanity. “To This Land” is one of those songs where the lyrics make you wonder about what kind of person is making the music. It’s the type of silly, juvenile sentiments that you hear and are then forced to wonder how someone could even commit them to paper. I’m not even going into the idea of then taking this crap and recording it on purpose. And many of the other songs aren’t much better, though, as Nick would tell you, “Money To Kill For” isn’t that bad.
And that seems to be the fatal flaw of FAKE. Clint Carney is a pretty decent musician, but he strays out into that territory where he feels comfortable in putting those cliché and wretched lyrics that everyone pumps out at a bad point in their life into the public eye. And I’m personally embarrassed for him. He’s trying to take on some serious sentiments in some of the songs, our social conditions, the state of human greed, and our lust to be that ideal that we are told we should be. All are admirable topics, but are all handled in a heavy-handed and, frankly, dumb way. You just kind of get sucked into these repetitive A-A-B-B rhyme schemes and shallow notions and you’re left wondering why this album couldn’t be more.
It’s really too bad that it isn’t better, as Clint seems to have many good qualities, but something has to be done about the state of his lyrical work. Usually my gripe is in the vocal department, but his vocals aren’t really that awful. In fact, “Whatever Makes You Happy” sounds pretty good and even manages to be enjoyable, despite the silliness of the lyrics. If he could let himself go and put something interesting alongside the pretty diverse mix of harsh EBM, industrial, and electro elements on a regular basis, it’d be something worth checking out. But, as it stands, it just leaves me wondering why.
from ReGen Magazine (~4/2005)