Naurea – New Zombie Generation
You know things are bad when the first five songs of any album, any genre, sound essentially the same. There is minor production and tempo differences purporting to make the first five tracks of Naurea’s New Zombie Generation sound different from one another, but they don’t go nearly far enough in bringing listeners a truly unique experience and, instead, pummel your ears with grating unoriginality. The cut and paste method employed on “Sugar Sun”, “Boygirl Vampire”, and “Welcome to Monsterland” through the fifth track “Hello Mr. Bull” is guitar oriented, but the same lack of originality pervades the more electronic based tunes as well. The album’s sixth song, “Sleeping with a Ghost”, represents Abel Oliva Menendez’s first attempt at shaking things up, but it’s unfortunately an outright rip off of far better bands and artists. If you expect a genuine personality to emerge from lyrics to redeem the lack of musical creativity, that moment never arrives with “Sleeping With a Ghost” or any of the following cuts.
One of the deepest low points of the release comes with the track “Dead I Am”, lyrically overwrought nonsense that cops much of the same feel we heard with the album’s first three tracks. It’s the album’s longest track as well, clocking in at a little over four minutes, but it’s the longest four plus minutes in recent memory and undermined by terrible production values. “Fast Food is the New Religion” is one of the tracks on New Zombie Generation seeking to bring hard-charging synths and guitars together, but it does so with all the subtlety of a bat swung at your head and, even then, doesn’t connect with the visceral impact you’d hope for. Instead, it comes off as just one more example of how Menendez can’t even hit some basic marks, let alone elevate the material to a respectable level.
“Fast Food is the New Religion” might have turned out to be a gem in a real musician’s hands, but Menendez rehashes much of what we’ve already heard and seems sadly content to bludgeon listeners with mindless repetition. It might redeem things, somewhat, if we got any sense that he was reaching for greatness and coming up short, but you hear a song like this and it, frankly, doesn’t sound like he’s even trying that hard to impress us. It’s the lowest common denominator each time out on New Zombie Generation and this is the bottom of the barrel for the album thus far. He’s prepared to surpass this ignoble low, however. “Holy Boogey-Boogey” has real promise to be something effective, based on its subject alone, but Menendez can’t follow the thread and burdens the song with an assortment of post-production effects that never enrich the tune in a measurable way. What’s more there is literally no low end. If NAUREA mixed this album he really needs to just quit and take up a new hobby like fishing or something. There’s bass, apparently, on this album, but this song represents one more example of how you’ll need lucky and canine hearing to find it anywhere on New Zombie Generation. This is a miserably bad release, poorly conceived and executed worse, and should prompt Menendez to re-evaluate how he spends his money and time.