Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: China Syndrome - Nothing's Not Worth Knowing

I wonder if its something in the water up there?

On first listen to this second effort from China Syndrome (though the first I've heard from them), the band I immediately thought of was another Vancouver B.C. outfit, The Tomorrows. Indeed, this album sounds like a less polished version of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, the 2009 Tomorrows release.

The good news is it's that less polished rough edge which gives this album character. "Let's Stay at Home and Let it all Hang Out" kicks the album out of the starting gate with high energy. In a similar vein, the Stones meets The Replacements vibe on "Falling Behind" is hard to beat.

"Friend or Enemy?" is an unexpected foray into 80's pop/rock reminiscent of The Tubes, and its a lot of fun. "Lost in the Bag" is a quirky number, with an engaging lyric to help it along. "Apropos of Nothing" sees China Syndrome in its best 10cc songwriting form along the lines of a song like "Dreadlock Holiday." Its oddly engaging.

The bad news is a number of the songs don't add a whole lot to the proceedings. "Get a Life," "See You Around," and "You'll Get Me Back" simply are unmemorable. As a result the album is never able to generate much momentum behind it. Still, the high points are high enough for repeated listens.

Grade: B-/B

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