For Fans Of
From your first look at the album cover you’re bombarded with strange and surrealist imagery, which paints a picture of what you might expect from the album before you turn it on, something unique? Something edgy? Or maybe something weird? However, when you listen to the album, within the first song, you can tell that ‘Mode. Set. Clear‘ is something made for radio consumption, with some cliche, mainstream friendly sounds, which is surprising since the full-length was produced by Shihad’s Tom Larkin. It’s not what you expect when you first look at the album, however that is not to say that it’s a bad release at all. It’s a little generic but let’s talk about the composition and songs without crying over the ‘mainstream’ factor.
For such a young band, Villainy work well together and have the potential for great music with their rumbling bass lines, which are very cohesive with the drums, interesting vocals and harmonious guitars. While the album isn’t a breakthrough rock record one can definitely say that Neil Fraser’s vocals are something unique at times and quite strong.
‘Mode. Set. Clear‘ has some variety with songs such as ‘Another Time,’ a nice, friendly and slow rock song and then tracks like ‘The Answer,’ which show some heavier rock tunes with precise instrumentals and angsty rock vocals. The slower songs throughout are rather generic and while they don’t get points for breaking out of the box, the songs are all pleasant to listen to. The heavier rock songs are made to be catchy anthems that might play well as live songs, also nothing new, but these ones will get stuck in your head.
The standout track ‘Deliver Me‘ is a slow and sad ballad. It is rather passionate and is a really nice end to the album. As the song goes on Fraser’s voice becomes just that bit more forceful, its emotion filled and you can tell it’s sincere.
‘Mode. Set. Clear‘ is all very pleasant to listen to but it’s in no way an excelling album. You’ll probably either love it or hate it.
‘Mode. Set. Clear’ is a pretty generic and radio friendly rock album. It’s nothing that will blow your mind but it is catchy in some parts and not at all unpleasant. The instrumentals and vocals themselves are nice and cohesive, but this album is nothing that hasnt been done by any previous rock band.
1. Aligator Skin
2. Gather Yourselves
3. Mode. Set. Clear.
4. Another Time
5. The Answer
6. Paradise Lost
7. Money Mouth
8. More Than You Can Do
9. Monday Night Fright Night
11. Deliver Me