steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

East West

"Hope in Anguish" CD

Floodgate Records

Genres: alternative rock, grunge, hard rock

Sep 29 - Oct 5 2003

"Last time around we literally had years to write and pick out songs. This time we came off tour, built a studio at Bobby's house to record the demos and then had to write everything. Maybe it is just because we spend so much time together we know what each other is thinking, but it ended up being very relaxed and low-key. We wrote two-three songs a day, and at night called each other and left messages of ideas for the next day. It was a pretty incredible time."

That's how East West drummer Mike Tubbs describes the creation of their Floodgate Records follow-up to 2001's The Light in Guinevere's Garden, which was released on Sony Entertainment.  The band's style of music is grungy metal of a dark and doom-oriented sort, filled with gargantuan guitar riffs and vicious vocals.  The songs on Hope in Anguish achieve what they aim to achieve - pure horror - but are also derivative and unoriginal.

A song like "Vacant" or "Drink Me" or [who am I kidding?... They all sound the same] is like Slipknot or Limp Bizkit with out the rap.  Occasionally they tap into good melodies ("Seven" springs to mind), but they don't seem to deal with them well, often treading too far into alternative rock norms.

Obviously there is a market for this.  I'm not doubting that East West are bad at what they do.  In fact, Hope in Anguish has enough solid moments to make their fans happy.  Alternative rock "dudes" will also enjoy the songs on this record for what they are.  As long as you aren't searching for any special meaning or creativity, this is perfectly serviceable.  But from a more critical standpoint, East West's Here in Anguish is far from quality music.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 12 tracks, distributed by Amazon, released 2003]