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(Not so) Nu-metal

Switched - Subject to Change
(Immortal Records)
2 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: June 12, 2002


By Tony Bonyata

Mixing the bone crunching metal of Pantera with the deep, dark minor chord aching of Alice in Chains, Cleveland hard rockers Switched have just released their debut album Subject to Change. While certainly not groundbreaking stuff in the world of heavy metal, their aggressive sound will nonetheless appeal to a generation of young headbangers weaned on the nu-metal of Korn and the living room antics of the Osbournes.
Despite the fact that lead singer Ben Schigel has a strong voice with a broad range, he all to often digresses into the standard p.o.'d Cookie Monster metal blathering that makes this genre seem so comical and one-dimensional. Although with dual guitarists Brad Kochmit and Joe Schigel laying down menacing leads and chugging rhythms throughout the 12 tracks, it seems that these two agitators may be the culprits making the singer so downright cranky.
From the opening assault of "Inside" and blowing all the way to the demented leads that twist through the metal funk of the closing track, "Darkening Days," this young, angry quintet doesn't give its listeners any space for shelter, pelting out a relentless battery of blitzkrieg rhythms and invading vocals that stay in your face for 45 minutes. While it works for a while, their beatings soon leave listeners with an overall numbness. They may want to inflict pain with their bombastic approach, but after a while there's no feeling left.
While Switched will surely be the cup-of-poison for the thousands of young shirtless males drunk on testosterone and warm Budweiser when they grace the OzzFest stage later this summer, they may want to heed their album's title and offer a little more tea-and-sympathy along with their pent up rage on their next offering.

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