It’s strange to think now that grunge was once seen as a threat to rock music, as if it was a whole new genre rather than a continuation of rock’s evolution. The no-frills aesthetic of grunge was a reaction to the excesses of the ‘80s, the DIY attitude was taken from the punk and hardcore scenes but essentially the music was always rooted in good-old fashioned hard rock. And so, here we are in 2018 and we think nothing of a band like Superfecta who seamlessly blend their obvious grunge influences with the sort of driving riffs and squealing solos that ‘90s kids thought grunge would destroy.
Disconnect is an album that reminds you of a hundred bands without sounding entirely like any of them. The tone and phrasing of the Rob Negrini’s vocals has Alice in Chains written all over them - with a dash of Audioslave-era Chris Cornell in there for good measure. There are hints of Led Zeppelin in the riffs and a healthy dose of Sabbath in the low end. And when they up the pace a notch or two, they almost stray into a fist-pumping traditional metal sound. The fact that it is all brought together into a sound that is not just coherent but modern and unique is a testament to their ability as musicians.
It is a slow burner of an album, they don’t exactly produce big chorused singalongs, but with each listen the individual characteristics of each song start to reveal themselves to you. It is by and large an album of dark emotional content; sadness, anger and distrust permeate the songs but it is not a depressing listen, the songs don’t get bogged down in the bleakness instead they shine through harnessing the darkness to create an infectious energy and power. This is all driven by the tight rhythm section and, in particular, superlative bass work by Carl Highman, it really is the star of the show enlivening each song without overshadowing the rest of the band. It gives Superfecta a unique groove in a post-grunge scene that is prone to the generic.
Individually there are some excellent songs here too. The central triumvirate of ‘Nothing Remains’, ‘The Abyss’ and ‘Break the Frame’ is a masterclass in creating songs that stand alone and yet complement each other perfectly with their variations on the bands sonic template. Elsewhere, however, there are tracks that fail to stand out or grab your attention and while they don’t spoil the album, they don’t enhance it enough to fully justify their selection either, they just seem to lack a hook to really draw the listener in.
Taken as a whole, Disconnect is a fine sounding and confident album. At its best it has songs to rival any released this year, it just doesn’t quite do it enough to elevate Superfecta’s status from good to excellent. They’re not far off though and they’re certainly a band to keep your eye on because you suspect they could have a masterpiece up their sleeve in the future.
Rob Negrini – Vocals
Danun Todd – Guitars
Carl Highman – Bass
Matt Vella - Drums
Disconnect is out now and available to buy here:
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