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D'Amato - "Synesthesia" (CD/EP)

D'Amato - "Synesthesia" CD/EP cover image

"Synesthesia" track listing:

1. Killer In Me
2. Take You Down
3. Speak No Evil
4. Edge Of Disaster

Reviewed by on October 1, 2009

"Led by singer/guitarist Anthony D'Amato (who also handles programming duties), this Los Angeles band sounds quite a bit like an electronica-laced Stone Temple Pilots on the opening track, 'Killer In Me.'"

Sometimes OK is good enough. That's the weird thought that came to me as I was listening to D'Amato's "Synesthesia" while driving to pick up some fast food for dinner.

It may sound like I'm damning this disc with faint praise to use a word like "OK," but that's not entirely my intent. Maybe it's because I've spent the better part of the last couple of weeks listening to hyper-technical music that battered me with its brilliance and speed. Maybe it was time to cleanse the palate with something that didn't require all that much thinking and careful analysis. Maybe it was time to listen to something appropriate to the task of driving out to grab a fast-food burger.

Led by singer/guitarist Anthony D'Amato (who also handles programming duties), this Los Angeles band sounds quite a bit like an electronica-laced Stone Temple Pilots on the opening track, "Killer In Me." That comes as little surprise since D'Amato lists bands like Audioslave and Depeche Mode as his influences. Big choruses, down-tuned guitars, and electronic scratching are the order of the day on this tune, with Jason Gile turning in a short, bluesy solo. It's an OK start to the festivities.

"Take You Down" begins with a vocal sample reminiscent of Rob Zombie and heavily features the work of bassist Dave Filice and drummer Glen Sobel. They're up to the task, and the song rocks along well, though the phrase "Take You Down" is probably among the most overdone in rock. I do like the fact that D'Amato's vocals are more varied on this one, with him adopting a tone that is very much akin to Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode, as compared to the more rock-ish early Scott Weiland sound he has on a lot of the disc.

The third track, "Speak No Evil," is the disc's best, with a simple driving guitar part that is at once rocking and danceable — a rare feat indeed. This is also the track where D'Amato's programming is at its best, with electronic sounds that snake in and out of the melody in a way that's noticeable but not obtrusive.

The closer, "Edge Of Disaster," is even more danceable, but the electronic elements are a little too prevalent this time. It's a little too "modern rock" for my tastes, but it does feature Jason Gile's best solo, which earns back some points. I also like the funk break that happens a little before the three-minute mark, with D'Amato's voice rising quite a bit from the usual high baritone.

Like I said before, there's nothing on D'Amato's "Synesthesia" that's going to reach out and grab you with its brilliance. It's a perfectly competent rock record by guys who know what they're doing. And you know what? That's perfectly OK by me.

Highs: "Speak No Evil" combines rock riffs, dance grooves and electronic sounds well.

Lows: None to speak of, though "Edge Of Disaster" has a little too much electronic noise.

Bottom line: A perfectly OK rock EP by guys who know what they're doing.

Rated 3.0 out of 5 skulls
3.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
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)