SOS
Adult Situations

SOS has all the signs that they’re a band that entered the metal scene too late. I want to like Adult Situations, but most of the songs on here sound a little too generic and old hat, like they could’ve been taken from could’ve been taken from Queens of the Stone Age b-sides. Further ostracizing them is the occasional grungy/groovy lick they’ll throw in circa ’93.I think they described themselves as “groove merchants of New York” or some preposterous shit like that on the promo sheet that came with the album, and while they’ve got some groove about them, I can’t help but feel they’ve hijacked the songs from bands that wrote these songs over 15 years ago. I can’t press that enough; one minute I’m thinking, “hey, that’s some Smashing Pumpkins riff they’ve got going there.” The next minute I’m assuming residuals are due to Soundgarden. But truth be told, I’m not about to go doing my homework to find out if some of these riffs have been taken from existing works, because no matter what way you slice this, SOS sounds old. Not Sons of the Pioneers old, but…well, when did Independent Worm Saloon by the Butthole Surfers come out again?

Maybe I’m being a little too harsh on these guys. After all, some of these songs are pretty catchy. “Hypoxyphilia” is particularly tasty in that “I could’ve given ‘Greedy Fly’ by Bush a run for its money” kinda way. See? I can’t escape this idea that these guys are alone creating music for a world that gave up on this style a long time ago. “Half Mast” is pretty gritty, like Helmet meets Stone Temple Pilots. Even at its heaviest, Adult Situations still sounds like late-era grunge, remnants of a tired genre that should’ve been laid to rest eons ago, and that doesn’t cut it for me.

What’s worse is that as utterly boring as this album is, it’s light years beyond the last of theirs I heard, 2001’s Adios Bandito. Still, I can’t see myself pulling this album out without first considering (and ultimately choosing) a Clutch record, as they’re among the few hard rock bands around that don’t make me consider choking myself to death.

Just you watch, SOS will take the nation by storm in the months to come and I’ll be eating my boots Charlie-Chaplin-Gold-Rush style.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Kris Yancey
April 10th, 2009

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