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CD REVIEW: Fallback - Vexing the Dull EP
By Cyrus Rhodes - 11/01/2010 - 11:07 PM EDT

Artist: Fallback
Album: Vexing the Dull EP (2010)
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Heavy Metal, Progressive Metal, Progressive Rock
Sounds Like: Faith No More, Blue October, Fear Factory
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 8/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 8/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Suicide Red
Weakness: Winded songs, lack of guitar solos
CD Review: Fallback was established in 2005 based out of Fargo, North Dakota. Fallback consist of 5 members Lead singer Jarrod Simek Guitarist duo of Cody Marshall and Tyler Strand on guitar & bassist Dustin Huber & Tessa Breitbach on drums. You may recall Fallback opening up for the like of Five Finger Death Punch, Red, Hurt, Dope, Bobaflex, 36 Crazy Fists, Under the Flood, & Seasons After. They took the crown of Q98's Battle of the Bands 2009. Their EP "Vexing the Dull" was released in 2010.

The EP kicks things off with “Own Made Sin” a melodic intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythms against aggressive guitar segments, & flowing melodic vocals from Simek. I thoroughly enjoyed how this piece not only melted my face but I like how it flowed & ebbed through to fruition. Track 2 “Artificial Prodigy” keeps things pushing with hard hitting guitars, dynamic musical vocal segments & harmonies that twist & turn, like a violent flood. I especially liked well placed vocal reinforcements & melodic harmonies from Simek on track 2. Track 3 “Driven” serves up yet another passionate, full tilt Metalcore groove, with impressive double bass accents, against a solid low end punishment. As the EP slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic Faith No More, Blue October, Dashboard Confessionals, with perhaps a dash of Fear Factory. Fans of all things Metalcore will thoroughly enjoy this EP. Most of the songs are very dynamic, passionate & full of musical peak & valleys. All in all this EP has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing impressive writing & lyrical content, with top flight musicianship to boot. Simek’s passionate baritone works well within this catalogue as he holds the melody line extremely well. HE definitely brings a lot of passion & intensity to the table & sings like Michael Patton (Faith No More) on steroids. All songs are short & sweet musical experiences, & packed to the hilt with everything your would expect from a world class Metalcore release. It’s definitely a fully loaded EP from start to finish with some amazing chops, thought provoking lyrical content, & rich melodic vocal layering. All songs are sung from a deeply honest perspective that is 100% pure & genuine. The EP ends with my favorite track ”Suicide Red” a perfect finale statement that will say the least thrash you into musical submission as you head out the door.  

It’s hard to find solid weaknesses with this EP. All songs over 4 minutes tend to drag you to the finish line. I also didn't recall hearing one guitar solo on the whole EP.

“Vexing the Dull” by Fallback is an impressive musical production from start to finish. The music is clean but is heavy, & goes down smooth, with passionate messages that are sung from a deeply honest perspective. Like the aforementioned fans that like the hard hitting Metalcore sound will love this EP. It’s strong suit – the solid melodic consistency of vocalist Jarrod Simek. I especially like how he carried the melody line on most of the music. Honorable mention goes out to Drummer Tessa Breitbach who threw down some serious double bass action. There isn’t a weak song anywhere on this entire EP. I look forward to checking out the full length someday soon. Make no bones about it - this EP is great workout music & might rip your head off in the process.

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