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MP3 Onus - ROCK: Hard Rock

Intelligent hard rock. Catchy and listenable. Not screamo. Great vocals, sparse guitar and pummeling drums. Sounds like...Soundgarden, Tool, Shinedown.

13 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Hard Rock, ROCK: Modern Rock

In an area where party rock bands are always out and about, smothering you as you enter your favourite club, the debut album from Fort Walton Beach band Onus is a bit of fresh air that is just what the doctor ordered.

In terms of what they sound like, there''s no real classification, but it seems they''ve drawn a lot from the book of the Reverend Maynard James Keenan (no pun intended, considering lead vocalist/bassist Bryan Kelly refers to himself as Reverend). The mastered plummeling of Tool is immediately sensed while the dark, artsy sensibilities of A Perfect Circle are found in there as well. Add a pinch of Days of the New and Alice in Chains and out comes Onus.

The songs are quite good, actually. Kelly, guitarist ''Slick,'' and the drummer known only as Oki have crafted songs that are accessable, but also with changing the music scene in mind. All-out rockers such as "Mark" and "Conscience" will definately get your head banging and the song "Wishing" just gets stuck in your head period with Slicks''s down-tuned, two-note flow. The instumentals ("Slipping," "Defeated," and "Sara''s Song," respectively) haunt you throughout the CD while a cover of CCR''s "Fortunate Son" is redone with a darker, more present-day feel; you can feel Kelly wrenching his heart out when he sings ''I ain''t no military son.'' The stand-out track, however, is another military-minded song, "Uncle Sam," a rather angry ''Dear John'' letter to Kelly''s brothers and sisters in arms.

- Adam Thompson
Transient Records

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