Battlestar Cadillactica - Farming In The Sands Of The Hourglass

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 40:38:00

It was not that long ago that yours truly was pleasantly surprised by a band that went by the rather unorthodox moniker Battlestar Cadillactica, and who had just released a demo that put it right between King's X and the Galactic Cowboys. That's right, King's X and the Galactic Cowboys. No small feat, and certainly one that would hardly go by unheeded, especially by anyone prone to feast on that most succulent combination of metallic riffs and Beatlesque vocal harmonies. Three years later and one year ago, the band decided that it was time to provide those curious with more nourishment, and released its debut Farming In The Sands Of The Hourglass. So how are the hungry doing, you ask? Well? they're not quite starving, but they aren't too pleased, either.

One of the shining triumphs of the galactic Cadillac squadron's demo was the fact that its members sounded like they were quite hungry. Hungry? Forget it. They sounded ravenous on at least two out of five tracks, and Jeff Salzman was somehow kept from devouring his bandmates as he unleashed a fiery guitar fluidity much akin to King's X's Ty Tabor. In fact, the moment the very first riff of the recording blasted through one's speakers, it was obvious that these guys were not intent on taking any prisoners. This time around, however, Salzman rarely gets the chance to let it rip, bassist Steve Hansen and drummer Michael Woelfel sound like they're on their lunch break, and the trio's songs roll by merrily without really attracting anyone's attention.

Actually, scratch the Hansen and Woelfel comment, because the guys are in fine form as far as their playing is concerned. Ditto for Salzman (most of the time). But with songs that lack the fire of years ago, singing efforts that are usually tepid at best, and a new focus that seems to take the band away from the wonderful crunch that these guys had already mastered and closer to the common fare of today's alternative rock, the playing really can't do all that much. Sure, a good deal of the songs contain some bright moments, such as the grinding brilliance and clever vocal harmonies of ""Impass," and the album actually features a wonderful gem in the form of the heavy catchiness of "In Between," but the momentum dies out so quickly that the generated excitement can't help but do the same.

Even then, however, one could hardly write off Battlestar Cadillactica as a case of wasted potential, especially after considering the fact that Farming In The Sands Of The Hourglass is only the band's debut. There is nothing inherently wrong with the trio's sense of structure or its playing ability, it's just that its members need to forget their manners a bit more and come out all guns blazing. And having Salzman take a lot more solos certainly wouldn't hurt either. At any rate, no cigar this time around, but hopefully the hungry will be rewarded with a banquet worthy of the guy representing gluttony on Seven next time.

If Only (4:22) / Betazoid (3:48) / There & Back Again (3:26) / Let's Roll (5:30) / Down (3:25) / Sound Check (4:16) / Impass (5:15) / Working on Problems (4:48) / In Between (3:45) / Exit 33 (5:03)

Jeff Salzman - guitars, vocals
Steve Hansen - bass, vocals
Michael Woelfel - drums, vocals

Corpulence (demo) (2000)
Farming In The Sands Of The Hourglass (2003)

Genre: Progressive/Power Metal

Origin US

Added: July 25th 2004
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 1201
Language: english


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