Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Magnet Animals — Fake Dudes
(RareNoise RNR, 2021, CD / DL)
by Jon Davis, Published 2021-08-10I expect Fake Dudes will be the kind of album that polarizes listeners’ opinions. The music is very creative and interesting rock with a loose jazzy attitude, featuring moments of improvisational unpredictability along with some great head-nod-inducing riffs. So far, so good. Both guitarists (Todd Clouser and Eyal Maoz) are distinctive and unconventional in their playing, with some creative use of effects to complement their chords and lines. Bassist Shanir Ezra Blumenkraz plays his electric aggressively, though not without subtlety, straddling the ranges of jazz and rock nicely, and even indulging in some nifty fuzz at times. Jorge Servin likewise brings a jazz touch to the drums, so when they turn to a rock-inflected riff he’s not just pounding out a set pattern. So why the anticipated polarization? It’s the vocals. Nearly every track features Clouser reciting his words with a megaphone-like effect on his voice. This is the kind of thing I’m OK with when used sparingly, but for all the vocals to be done this way is frankly annoying to me. This is frustrating because I like the backing instrumental tracks quite a lot. Other listeners will of course have their own reactions, but by the end of Track 1 I’m over it. I’d really go for an all-instrumental mix, however.
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