Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Great American Failure...

... The Under Destruction Review

Life is measured by success. We all work hard to attain certain goals. We spend a lifetime building what we would like to eventually consider “Our Perfect Life”. We make our mark on the world any way we can.  To achieve status. To have more. We find comfort in our homes, love in our families… Security in our careers.

What happens when it all falls apart? When everything you thought you knew about your life, everything that you held dear vanishes? When comfort, love, and security are replaced with pain, hate, and uncertainty? When it’s all ripped away....

And you are left without hope?

The Great American Failure is a harrowing journey into the soul of man who has lost everything, and is forced to find comfort within the emptiness of what his life has become. It's the dark celebration of a man who has given up all illusions that his life will once again become “normal“.. The treacherous voyage into the kingdom of oblivion.

The Great American Failure chronicles the descent of a proud man into the throes of  hopelessness.... And his transformation into a  spiritual warrior… With  courage and confidence, and against all odds… He revels in his failure. He thrives on discord.  He becomes The King Of Oblivion. 

And he is us.

We are The Great…

Title Zero welcomes you to the show. There's a storm moving in. Coming to the realization that success is futile… A waste of time. A slow groove painted with strokes of minimalist lead guitar work sets a tone for things to come.

Freya picks up the pace, finding our subject reaching a desperate hand out to Death for one more night on Earth before taking the plunge into Hell. Fucking Brilliant. Amazing song….

I’ll Be Gone… A great song that continues the same vibe.. This is one of the few tracks that actually suffers from having a full band playing on it. At it’s essence, Dave Emeney’s solo work is Spartan. Vocals.. Guitar... Raw Emotion. 
While I will give producer Frank Santos credit for assembling a fine arrangement around this song… at times, it seems to distract from it’s heart and soul.

Santos immediately redeems himself on the hauntingly epic October Fires… A post apocalyptic death march that lingers with painful lead guitar work by Emeney that rings in a way only Jerry Cantrell could fully understand. Emeney rips his guts out… begging us to not give up on him. The gorgeous sound of hitting bottom… If your eyes aren’t at least glazed with tears by the time this song fades to silence… You weren’t paying attention.

The Fear has Got To… This is the second, and last, example of , for lack of a better term,  over-production. At it’s heart… It’s one of the best songs Emeney has ever written. However.. This version has too much going on. When it’s just his voice and a six string… Fear is a MUCH more rewarding experience…

Deadline closes the first half of the record in superior fashion. A burst of uplifting comfort amidst crumbling sandcastles…

The heart of the album lies in it’s second half. Dave Emeney at his purest.  In his element.. From here on out… you experience the artist in the way you were meant to hear him
And the only place one could possibly begin this aural redemption…

The Great American Failure.. The title track starts with a one man southern-style acoustic jam and builds into a rallying cry for all of us that have been written off by society. We don’t need you.  Our success is dependant on rejecting all that you value… We Are The Great American Failure…

Buzzards is another winner…  The path to enlightenment. Direct your hate towards the ones who deserve it.  Indeed.

Unprepared, Whisky River, and Same Old Feeling  revisit the darkness of the first half of the album with a poignant maturity and understanding…  Where there was once confusion, there now sits wisdom.

Part One and Your Wings close The Great American Failure with intensity, power and promise.

Nowhere else, will you, after repeated listens, finds yourself singing along with every heart wrenching word, despite the lack of discernable hooks. There’s something in Emeney’s songs  that instantly connects with your deepest painful memories.  They immediately come off as stream-of consciousness ramblings, but upon further inspection, it becomes clear that traditional structure would do the material a great disservice.

Emeney’s wealth of influences converge to create a unique voice that must be heard. A few minor production annoyances aside, his first full length album is the cathartic triumph of a brilliant artist in turmoil, that hints of redemption, and leaves room for growth in any direction..

 The Great American Failure is essential listening… 


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