Colombian Necktie
All Paths Lead to Nowhere

Somewhere between Soilent Green, Poison Idea and Monster Magnet you will find the sound of Columbian Necktie, and maybe that sound will really appeal to you. It has its moments, no doubt; solid riffing, varied – if somewhat traditional – rhythms, and a lot of attitude. And it is a nice palate cleanser after an hour of SubRosa or Insomnium. It is, in a word, fun.

There is a place for fun in metal. At least I hope so. Fun that is just fun – not cheesy or ironic or pseudo-dark. Thrash, punk, stoner – all can be fun. They can be serious too, of course, and the best can be both at once, but they all have moments of just killing it for the sake of smiles, and I am all for that. Columbian Necktie get their fun by just playing whatever they want, essentially. They can boogie like stoners, thrash like thrashers and snot like punks.

The sound begins with the kinetic punctuation of the riffs and runs, bringing us the afore-mentioned Soilent Green reference, but they never go full grind, choosing instead to walk the songs into a more crossover/hardcore feel. The songs never really get all that fast, being more Mastodon-paced. This combined with vocal which have a kind late eighties punk feel – hence the Poison Idea ref. And of course there is a heavy stoner groove element harkening MM.

The problem here, if you want to call it a problem, is that the references are all better than the songs doing the referencing. Colombian Necktie can’t seem to drag their compositions above “hey, that reminds me of…” and the result is that the songs either make you pull out your copy of War All The Time or serve as simple background music for whatever you actually end up doing instead of getting into the record.

They come close on songs like “33-16”, which is a brooding slicer of a song, and shows what the band could be with a little extra focus. Compare this to the almost laughable “Don’t Fear the Reefer”, with its hacky pot warrior lyrics and sub-par 80’s riffing. Most of the songs fall between these two examples and the overall effect is less than thrilling, but more than disappointing. It’s “fun”, in other words.

Perhaps the main culprit is not really the band or the compositions, but the production. Everything is very clear, but the guitars are fairly anemic for a modern metal/punk/stoner band. We are used to heavy in our heavy music, and while at first it was a little refreshing, over the long haul it simple brought the intensity and immediacy down.

But, again, the band’s “fuck you this is what we do” attitude wins the listener over often enough to make this a decent album. There is a great album in this group, and I hope they carry forward and find it. This is not that album, in my opinion, so listeners are advised to try a few tracks before buying. But do try them, and do encourage Colombian Necktie to find that focus.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Sessions
September 29th, 2016

Comments

  1. Commented by: Chewy

    This band rules! One of the best live band in the country.


  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    I wish this had a heavier production, it’d suit it better than the 70s rock sound they have going here.


  3. Commented by: Sessions

    I have to agree, though like I said, the tone is kind of a nice change after all the death and doom I have been listening to lately.


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