Never believe the labeling in press releases. They are never acurate enough. If I believed in that, I would tell you my fan that this Underhander “Persona Non Grata” is a hard rock effort. Never been so far from the truth. If one told me this album were some kind of grunge plus some features of 1990s rock, I would be more satisfied. But it doesn’t reflect all the music that “Persona Non Grata” contains. At least, it tells part of the story. In fact, “Persona Non Grata” is one of these that have two very distinct moments: one of them may be some kind of hard and heavy, the other is very well explained as 1990s rock, the so called grunge. Some kind of monster by the mix of Rage Against the Machine with Alice in Chains express better what Underhander do here. But do separated.
“Persona Non Grata” kicks off with “Empty Void” which has some chorded guitar riffs pretty interesting interweaven with those low tuned guitar full-chorded riffing. “Empty Void” uses and abuses of vocal effects as bands as Butthole Surfers used to do. What sparkled me the attention was the presence of many guitar solos using a Wah pedal. I just love the sound of them. The first moment of “Persona Non Grata” shows a band that dare to use different sonic solutions as in “Step into the Ring” where some reggae features are introduced and are interweaven with some hard rocking guitars. The effect I must say is amazing. The mix works pretty much well. But soon the band looses the appetite for changes and bold musical structures. To be frank, “Stone Burner” still keeps the flame with a Rage Against the Machine mood with cadenced and strong guitar riffs. But from “Bull By The Horns” the mood changes to go into some kind of grunge vibe I told before and “Persona Non Grata” gives a turn to a predictable music. To be fair, the change per se isn’t that dissatisfying but it is kind of disappointing due to what Underhander promised in the beginning.
Well, things are what they are.
Underhander “Persona Non Grata” was released on January 01st via Decolonized Media.
- Empty Void
- Step into the Ring
- Stone Burner
- Bull by the Horns
- Handle of a Broom
- When There’s No Love
- Without a Doubt
- Light the Sky (Remix)
Watch “Bulls by the Homs” official music video here: