Fear Zero

In Lights (Satch)

Soldiers and Sadlers go hand in hand, apparently. In 1968, during the Vietnam War, Barry Sadler released the patriotic, chart-topping “Ballad of the Green Berets”. Four decades later, the YouTube video for Fear Zero’s “Last Photograph”, penned by frontman Ed Sadler, shows tearful farewells from baby-clutching wives, Iraq war scenes, and lines of tombstones.

However, the North Van–based band’s third CD doesn’t really aim to be a Canadian-style answer to Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends”. At its best, In Lights delivers catchy doses of postgrunge pop-rock that sound like every band signed to 604 Records. Sometimes it’s just in that “Haven’t I heard this before on CFOX?” way. As well, many of these 14 tracks sound like they were recorded after each band member had downed a triple-grande caramel macchiato.

The first single, “Breathe Again”, is a typical example. Start with a posse of partying, circling riffs that evoke a sped-up Collective Soul, add a tribute to Nickelback’s “Animals” when Sadler’s lead vocal enters, and end with a chorus that echoes the Foo Fighters’ “Learn to Fly”. Although Sadler has said he’s influenced by Nirvana, most of his output feels a tad cheerier than what Saint Kurt Cobain would have approved of.




Feb 2, 2008 at 12:59am

In a time where writing an album review boils down to literary redundancy rather than meaningful prose, one has to wonder if the author's comments amount to anything more than pouring a cup full of sand on a California beach.

Could it be the excess schooling combined with a Master's degree in English? Perhaps too much chasing around Van Halen to compile senseless trivia. We'll never know. And we'll never know much about Fear Zero either, at least not from this review.

"Waiter, there's some sand in my beach"

Hostile studios

Feb 3, 2008 at 1:29am


Your review sucks...