Full Scale, Full Scale
Full Scale’s self-titled debut is decidedly a metal album for the clichéd mind. The cover art, for one thing, is jet black with Army helicopters on the back and a CD label meant to represent a bullet hole. Musically, this band reminds me of a cross between Biohazard, Rage Against the Machine, and a crappier version of System Of A Down. It’s funny that this is the first “Major Label” (Columbia) metal band that I’ve reviewed, and yet Full Scale are the worst metal band I’ve heard, to boot. I refused to believe that Columbia’s street crew could be this juvenile, but then I heard this record. Don’t believe me? Here’s a sample of the lyrical content these guys have to offer, from their song “Empty Texas”: “Can’t you see I’m alone? / Just like on Oprah fucking Winfrey / Where’s my Hollywood screenplay motherfucker? / I’m gonna pump you so full of lead.” How in all Hades can anyone take that with a straight face?
Seriously, Columbia has proven themselves to be employers of vacuous chumps who cater to the music-challenged general populace. To be fair, though, this album reeks of Big Brother “fingering” the band in the studio, and the actual band shouldn’t take the album as a reflection of themselves (unless they see themselves as a crappy band, of course). What I’m trying to say is that while this is a horrible album, the musicians are definitely good and tight. To be clear, I’m not trying to condemn the musicians’ abilities. For example, the drummer rocks, as his parts perfectly syncopate with the guitarist’s choppy arrangements. The bass seems to be a non-factor, but given the context, that’s seemingly by choice. Though I detest the lead singer’s voice, I find it generally refreshing that he is willing to share his spot depending on what the song calls for. The guitars are okay. It’s excruciatingly difficult to innovate in this genre, guitar-wise, but there are some interesting moments on “The Heimlich Manoeuvre” and a few other scattered songs. I give Full Scale an “A” for effort, but a “Z” for label influence.