I once survived a Mike Patton concert. He was touring presenting his Phantomas project, and I got invited to attend. Mike Patton is a genius, there’s no doubt about that, but sometimes geniuses have to be on a leash. For example, he was on a tight leash when he was in Faith No More. Mike Patton is able to create the best, but, without being held in check, he is also able to create the worst.
Mike Patton is clearly a reference for Car Bomb, so much so that they don’t conceal it. They have a most accurate bio on their website. They like to chop rhythms. They like to play with riffs. Not very original, huh? System of a Down has been doing that for some time. Then again, Car Bomb does not claim to be original; they claim to be good at what they do.
You can hate or love their musical language. Centralia is a serious effort in the sense that it won’t leave you in the middle. A lot of credit goes to Car Bomb for that.
Centralia is restless. The album does not let you relax for one minute out of this thirty-five minute album. The atmosphere of the album is oppressive: totally recommended for those days when everything seems to go wrong. The sound quality of Centralia is great for a metal album. Centralia is, if anything, overproduced. Not in the classical, 1980s sense, but in the Pro-tools-era significance: guitars that are manipulated digitally to fit the producer’s dream sound, for example. I would like to see this band live to see how the live execution of the songs relates to the studio magic worked on the album.
What would happen if System of a Down asked Mike Patton to write songs for them? I seriously don’t know, but Car Bomb is a close call. A close call, but not a great one. They need to settle and find their style. If they can do that, be original in the niche that they are carving, then I seriously expect great things from this band. Centralia is a great declaration of intentions. Now they just have to take the serious leap into originality.
Website: Car Bomb