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Five Bolt Main - "Venting" (CD)

Five Bolt Main - "Venting" CD cover image

"Venting" track listing:

1. The Gift
2. Pathetic
3. Wait In Line
4. Broken Compass
5. What You Are
6. Slip
7. Breathing
8. Seem To Be Fine
9. Life Of Mine
10. Descending
11. Made Like This
12. Bid Farewell

Reviewed by on December 19, 2005

"For a freshman release, from members who come from playing with a previously signed and failed act, this rebound is outstanding."

Five Bolt Main's debut album "Venting" starts with “The Gift”, a good song to introduce new listeners to the band’s style and the overall tone for the rest of the album. The Gift is short, with crunchy guitar riffs, thick bass, a good beat and smooth vocal hooks, which sets up the second song very well. "Pathetic" is the first single released from the album and rightfully so, the song truly is a gem. This song has it all; crunchy hook guitar riffs, pounding drums, phat pulsing bass lines, and it covers a wide range of vocal styles, not to mention a slick downbeat bridge. "Pathetic" is catchy and addictive, it has a driving energy unique to itself, separating it from the rest of the songs.

With such a kickass second song on Venting, the assumption was the rest of the tunes would not compare. The remaining songs are not polished gems, as "Pathetic" is, but there are precious stones within the rest of the album. "Wait in Line" follows "Pathetic," it too has a driving energy, with crazy whah guitar riffs throughout. The vocals are an almost perfect mix and match of smooth and rough, with a chorus catchier than the previous song; “This time I’m taking mine, I will not wait in line, I bite the hand that feeds me, I will do what I must to survive… I’m taking, I’m taking, I’m taking mine!”

Unfortunately, after the build up of the first three songs the album falters. The musicianship on Broken Compass is still there and the drum rhythms are driving, but the song is generally slower with only parts which carry the same energy as the beginning songs. Life of Mine is a smooth rock song, it is a little different than the rest of the album and though it doesn’t carry the same aggression as some of the other songs it shows off the band’s versatility, plus it has a really addictive chorus, easy to relate to.

Other highlights of Venting are songs like "Breathing" and "Descending." "Breathing" has more of a mainstream or new metal sound, the song is very accessible and has a great chorus which is easy to sing along with. The vocals are smooth and carry the sincere sound of lamentation. The drum fills on this song are excellent and the guitars are rough and spacey at the same time. "Descending" is reminiscent of a Tool song, though it still holds the style and tone of rest of the album. The vocals are smooth and entrancing, layered over thick bass lines and offset with spacey rhythm guitars and pounding drums. Though "Descending" does not have the driving energy of the first three songs it holds it’s own and showcases a new style influenced by contemporary musicians.

Five Bolt Main’s sound draws on elements of rock, alternative, metal and grunge. They mix all these sounds with their personal style to create something new. Some songs are right on the mark, while some are off in parts. When they're on the mark they are kickass, though most of the off mark sounds are still good musically. For a freshman release, from members who come from playing with a previously signed and failed act, this rebound is outstanding. They all stood up and put their minds together to make something new, something fresh, for better or worse. If they can bring more songs like "Pathetic," "Wait In Line" and "Bid Farewell" on a sophomore release they may go further and attract a wider audience.

Highs: Cool guitar sounds, wide range of vocals

Lows: Loses its initial energy quickly

Bottom line: Overall good rock music with a heavy edge

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)