Semi-Mental Journey

CD Cover User
Flinch Records

Review by Kevin Templeton

43-second excerpt from "Cyclops" (various formats)

I don't know much about this five-piece, but what I hear, I like. Diverse in a trippy and metallic way, User play straightforward, tightly-constructed heavy songs one minute, and somewhat eccentric, acoustic-based tunes the next. All things considered, tracks one to eight range from above-average to great, while tracks nine through eleven sound like they need some work -- not a bad success rate from an unknown band.

Opening cut "G.N.P." immediately showcases User's more rockin' side, with its speedy metallic rhythm at the forefront (ditto for the chugging "Cyclops"). "You wanna be heard, so be absurd..." states the aptly named "Chewy," an awkward yet effective acoustic composition that simmers like a cup of strong, black coffee. I'm not certain if User use (ha!) multiple vocalists, but it appears that may be the case (whoever's spewing on "Rotten" does a damned fine Ace Frehley impersonation, regardless). The gutsy acoustic angle begins to fall a little on "Vein," but then things pick up again on the meandering "hidden" montage at disc's end.

The production on this very listenable CD varies, but overall is very punchy and concise, reaffirming the band's strength in the studio. I'd definitely be interested in checking out User in a live setting. Watch for 'em.

Artist Contact Info: 4114 Miller St., Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V5N 3Z8, (604) 876-2984

First published in Drop-D Magazine on January 28, 1997

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