NORD – Play Restart
When I first glanced at the album cover and band name, i.e. Nord, my first thought was that this was Scandinavian black metal of some kind or other, but it turned out to be an experimental rock album of sorts by a Croatian quartet. While the term art rock might seem a bit diffuse, it is actually a most appropriate term when it comes to summing up and describing what is on display on this 8-track record. Bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Slave to the System, and Soundgarden come to mind whenever I spin the disc, but then so do all kinds of pop outfits. In that sense, the music that this creative ensemble has spawned ranges from rock to pop and further on to grunge and hard rock. What works in the band’s favor is that there is a strong emphasis on good melodies, powerful riffs, and cool hooks. Instead of losing themselves entirely in experimentation, they have focused on writing solid tracks that are, for the most part, memorable. The album does sound very modern and polished, but the song material has depth and substance to it. My main gripe with "Play Restart" is that it is not all that solid and coherent. Varied, yes, but some of the tunes kind of fall by the wayside and offer very little in terms of engaging the listener on an emotional level. Still, there are enough interesting songs to be found here to make the album worth investigating.
In truth, "Play Restart" does not have a whole lot to do with metal, but it does possess a certain dose of darkness and melancholy not to mention bombastic riffs and cool riffing, which is why you may find it interesting. Check it out if you are in the mood for some alternative rock, especially the track entitled "Killing Me, Killing You" (and the beautiful "hidden" ninth track).