Bride - This is It (Re-issue)
In a way, it seems like Bride has been making music for as long as I can remember. If I have my timeline correct, I was still in elementary school when they first started as Matrix. Over the years we have seen this band go through some drastic changes. In a way, you could almost compare this band to Mortification. Long band life, numerous lineup changes, drastic style changes, controversial lead singers, criticized to no end by fans and media, but also praised a bunch by fans and media. Both bands released albums that had tremendous impact, both when they were released and still do even until this day, and both bands have released albums that makes you wonder what they were thinking at the time.
So...after numerous lackluster albums by Bride (Oddities, Fist Full of Bees, Drop, etc.), the band is attempting to regain some of that past glory with this release, This is It. While the band does make a valiant effort and earns back some of that trust that they lost with past disappointments, this album still falls short of the greatness that was Snakes in the Playground or Kinetic Faith, among others. But even though it falls short, this album does contains some pretty solid hard rock/metal tunes that should get Bride fans excited once again. We're once again treated to the tasty guitar licks of Troy Thompson. The guitars on this disc are down and dirty and dripping with attitude. I've always enjoyed Troy's style and sometimes wish we could've heard him outside of the confines (boundaries) of Bride. Nevertheless, he showcases his skills here with nothing but class. And as for brother Dale Thompson, the aggressive/snarling side of his vocal abilities is rearing it's head once again. You can feel the angst and anger being poured out with each song. He even unleashes a few of those ear piercing screams that he used to be known for in the Snakes in the Playground days. Not quite as powerful as those early days, but still effective. You can almost imagine his veins popping out of his forehead as he unleashes one of those blood-curdling screams. He also utilizes that fast, rapid fire vocal delivery style ala "Time" in songs like "Evil Genuises."
Overall, I'd say this albums kinda lands right in-between Scarecrow Messiah and The Jesus Experience, while borrowing a little bit from some of their other albums as well....but nothing earlier than Kinetic Faith. There are a lot of really good tunes on this album that will really appeal to long-time Bride fans, and also fans of bands like Guns-n-Roses. I guess where the band seems to fail at times is that they rely too much on attitude and aggression to carry the day, only to leave us with a song that doesn't seem to have much direction or style to speak of. Almost like they were trying to re-create the past, but they weren't really sure of themselves and how they were gonna go about it. Thankfully though, at other times they are in the zone and firing on all cylinders. One listen to a song like "Head Looking for a Bullet" and you'll realize that Bride still have some life in them and the ability to write a song that forces you to hit the repeat button.
If you noticed above, this album is actually a re-issue of the original 2003 release. The original was released independently, and this one is brought to you by Retroactive Records. As incentives to purchase this album, the entire disc has been digitally remastered and they've included four bonus tracks. The bonus tracks are actually the pre-This is It demo tracks that the band sold as CD-R's under the album name Raw. Only one of the tracks made it as a re-recorded version on the actually album, so the other three tracks are basically previously unreleased tracks, unless you are one of the few people that have the Raw demo.
So anyways...while this is definitely not the best Bride album ever, it's a step in the right direction and their best effort since The Jesus Experience in my opinion.
Review By: Matt Morrow
Label: Retroactive Records
Total Songs: 17
Total Time: 70:38
Tracklisting: 1. Blow it all Away, 2. To the Sky, 3. More Than Human, 4. Drop D, 5. Head Looking for a Bullet, 6. Best I Expect to Do, 7. Evil Genuises, 8. Revolution, 9. Barren River Blues, 10. Microphone, 11. Short Time in the Grave, 12. Universe, 13. White Elephant, 14. Blow it all Away (Demo), 15. Is This the Now (Demo), 16. Bring Me Down (Demo), 17. Burning Love (Demo).
Best Songs: Tracks 1, 4, & 5.
Band Lineup: Dale Thompson - Vocals, Troy Thompson - Guitars/Sitar/Cello/Violin, Michael Loy - Drums/Percussion, Lawrence Bishop - Bass.
Band Website: http://www.bridepub.com