Album Review :
Showbread - Age Of Reptiles

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Band: Showbread
Title: Age Of Reptiles
Label: Tooth & Nail
Release Date: 8/1/06
Review By: Josh IndieVision

Tracklisting:

01. Naked Lunch
02. Pachycephalosaurus
03. Your Owls Are Hooting
04. Oh! Emetophobia!
05. Sing Me To Sleep
06. George Romero Will Be At Our Wedding
07. Centipede Sisters
08. The Jesus Lizard
09. Dinosaur Bones
10. Age Of Reptiles

Members/Duties:

Matt Davis: Guitar
Mike Jensen: Guitar
John Giddens: Synthesizer & Piano
Patrick Porter: Bass
Josh Dies: Vocals, Synthesizer, Acoustic Guitar
Ivory Mobley: Vocals

Raw rock has changed and gone the way of dinosaurs. By dinosaurs, of course I’m just trying to be cool and making a catchy statement. Anyways, the band has definitely changed up the sound on their sophmore release for Tooth & Nail. The guitar tones and riffage definitely brings back era’s of the past. Simple, but rockin chord progressions. Showbread adds their flavor by throwing in a bit more of a danceable vibe. Showbread’s fanbase may also see some change with the release of “Age Of Reptiles”. They have altered the sound up a bit and dropped the screaming and the other bits of the heaviness from the last album. However, their popularity will most likely increase with the catchiness of this new wave of raw rock.

“Naked Lunch” initially brings the rock. Here we see first the new vocal combo approach. Instead of sing/scream of “No Sir..” we see both vocalists using clean vocals throughout. They once again blend quite well together. The music in this is definitely southern influence mixed with a dash of dance-rock flavor. There is definitely single potential with this track. “Your Owls Are Hooting” has a sweet low end intro and a solid drum backing. The song is a slower dance-rock track that explodes into the chorus. The chorus is the same pace but louder vocally and instrumentally.

“George Romero…” is another highly enjoyable track. Another homage to zombie flicks which the band seems to be obsessed with. “The Jesus Lizard” picks up the pace for a bit in the verses and becomes possibly the loudest track during the chorus “I can’t breathe and I don’t want to anymore”. “Centipede Sisters” brings back the feel of the last album with it’s upbeat approach and keyboard led interlude. My favorite track which highlights the keyboard is “Dinosaur Bones” which is very bouncy and catchy during the verses.

Standout Tracks: “Naked Lunch”, “George Romero Will Be At Our Wedding”,

Overall Rating: “Age Of Reptiles” is an album that will take me awhile to really grow into. I was a huge fan of the last album but this album is definitely not “No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical.” The most obvious change is the lack of screaming. Instead they’ve opted for an album which is more like “Mouth Like A Magazine”. The reason for that choice is unknown but I think it works. The group is still enjoyable and still puts on a lively show even though the music isn’t as crazy. The band certainly will not fall into the sophmore slump with this release.

Individual Ratings:

Album Art/Design: It’s been awhile since I’ve not seen the Asterik Studio name somewhere on album for art direction. Instead, Showbread opted to handle the work themselves. Very interesting looking reptilian artwork is throughout and Bible verses dealing with snakes and whatnot are included as well.

Lyrics: I can really only described the lyrics as strange to me. I’m not too poetic of a person and I think logically so interpreting songs like these doesn’t usually go over so well. I tend to prefer straightforward lyrics but these are good, just not always my thing.

Marketability: Showbread already had a solid fanbase from the last album and I believe with the updated sound the band will increase their scope. They have a good fall tour schedule lined up.

Production: Solid and not over-polished. Very clean sounding.

Vocals: Certainly takes a little more getting used to since the screaming is gone. However, Ivory has adapted and his clean vocals fit quite well. When I heard that the screaming was gone I wasn’t sure what exactly he would be doing in the group but they have solved that. Josh’s vocals are basically the same as the last album, with a little variation here and there.

Website
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Tooth & Nail

Buy: Showbread Store