CD REVIEW: Unknown Component - 'Rewired Reasoning'
By Steve Allat - 06/18/2005 - 10:00 PM EDT
Artist: Band: Unknown Component
Album: 'Rewired Reasoning'
For Fans Of: Radiohead
Fav Tracks: Trying To Remember, Dial Tone
Here we have another in a growing number of one-man bands, under the guise of a mysterious moniker. A few listens, though, and it's actually readily apparent that there is only one mind behind the music, as it is very similar throughout. That man is Keith Lynch, who hails from the midwest United States, but who has an obvious leaning toward progressive soundscapes in his music and dark, emotional themes in his lyrics.
On first listen, my main observation was the homogeneity of the whole disc, mainly in tone & expression through Keith's vocals, which don't wander too far from his mid-stream drone. At times, it certainly suits the tone and the mood, but it's a bit too much overall, and a little vocal adventure would add a little needed variety. Keith's voice is fine, but does sound a little strained at times, as if he knows how he wants to sing a certain part, but can't quite get there. He does use some layering effectively and also vocal effects, as you might guess, for that distant, futuristic feel. In the end however, the vocals still hold back a bit too much to be overlooked
From song to song, there is only a slight variation, in melody and tone, making the whole nicely cohesive, but making the journey a little numbing. Again, it's obvious that Keith has created a very cool sound, but it's also obvious that he's relying on that one thing to be his hook. We need a hook within the hook, Keith. While the music does envelop the voice and vice versa throughout, what I found myself longing for were discernible vocal melodies that begged for attention and musical passages that were interesting as well. Unfortunately, they are too few and far between.
The recording is a little distant sounding, which isn't terrible considering the nature of the music itself, but I would have preferred it a little more in my face. I just couldn't hear enough of what was going on behind the voice, as it's mostly a blur of sound.
Lyrically, Keith is in the 'live for today' zone, commenting on social 'isms' and perhaps wallowing a little bit and seeing this life through melancholy eyes.
In retrospect, after a few listens, I also realize that a few songs end abruptly and that I'm very surprised that the songs don't flow together more, something that would be fairly natural given the overall sound of the disc.
Contact: Keith Lynch
Website: Unknown Component - CD's available.
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