A Message For You
A Message For You is [Minus.Driver]’s 5-song major label debut. Aside from having an annoying name involving too many non-alphabetic keyboard characters, there’s really nothing especially significant about this band. To put it bluntly, [Minus.Driver]’s sound closely resembles “Make Yourself”-era Incubus, with a healthy dose of extra nu-metal tossed in to thicken the mix and appeal more to the angst-ridden teenagers among us. This isn’t to say that they’re not any good, it’s just that they’re not particularly memorable and are quickly lost in the crowd of faceless alternative rock.
Vocalist Jordan Williams’s voice displays an impressive range, similar to Incubus’s Brandon Boyd but lacking some of the dynamics and intensity of Incubus’s earlier years or the finer-grained textures developed on later albums. The rest of the band is up to snuff as well, sounding very tight and clearly in control of their instruments, but there’s just nothing overwhelmingly impressive about it.
Ultimately, A Message For You is a well-produced modern alt.metal album. It’s undeniably formulaic and hook-heavy, which works well for them on tracks like “Sure Thing” and the spacey lighter fare of “Light Years” (the latter of which is one of best tracks on the album and demonstrates what these Atlanta boys are really capable of and should aspire to), but also exposes their weaknesses on other cuts like the miserable “Lie To You,” which sounds like a Limp Bizkit B-side.
Okay, that’s just mean. And I’m sorry. The truth is basically this: If you like Hoobastank or Incubus, and don’t mind bands that use bracket characters in their names, you’ll probably dig [Minus.Driver]. So check them out. If you don’t like that stuff, then go listen to Refused, or Radiohead, or D-Plan, or Minus The Bear, or whatever you post-punk/indie snobs like these days.