Vermont has its fair share of heavy acts; many are excellent, others not so stellar. Either way, you gotta admire the balls it takes to play this kind of music in an area that clearly favors jammier fare.
Milton's Nowhere Found are a solid, if somewhat unoriginal, quartet whose new disc, Bleed Like Me, is brawny enough to win over fans of dude-rock bands such as Godsmack, but probably won't impress the technical-metal set.
NF's lineup comprises singer Jayson Argento, guitarist Steve Maas, drummer Josh Castonguay and bassist Chris Tipper. Each of the instrumentalists is proficient, but they don't display much in the way of inventiveness. Argento's vocals are melodic, which is rare in today's scream-happy aggro music.
All the tunes on the CD are mid-tempo rockers, with little distinction in rhythm and arrangement. The guitars are broad and crunchy, the bass suitably bottom-heavy. The production is crisp but barebones, which has a tendency to highlight both the band's merits and its faults.
Lyrically, NF reflect the angst of rural maledom, with plenty of references to rage, misery and emotional isolation. Opener "Bleed Like Me" is full of accusatory sentiment, but its vagueness is tiresome. "You say I'm wrong, well that's OK / I never listen to a word you say / So don't even bother, I'm not gonna try / To find the truth buried in your lies," Argento sings over a simplistic riff. Who or what, exactly, has fed this guy's resentment? Guess it'll remain a mystery.
"Deadly Sight" is built on a slow, grinding riff and well-defined percussion. The chorus mixes things up a bit with a couple of meaty chord changes, but then it's back to the central figure, which loses power through sheer repetition. On the other hand, the song seems to be about a robotic killing machine, which is frickin' cool, bros.
The pace picks up a bit with the volatile "Drown," while "Facedown" utilizes a hypnotic, minor-key bass line to create a palpable sense of dread. "I'm only happy when you're facedown / another page of history,"Argento sings on the chorus. It's not entirely clear what that means, but I'm fine with not knowing.
With a little more practice and a dose of finesse, Now here Found could run with the big dogs of loud rock. Keep those amps fired up, dudes.