Release Date: 2003
Record label: Slithering Disc Records
Genre(s): Movies, Film Scores, Musicals, Etc.
In Praise of Musical Schizophrenia
by: matt cibula
Habit of Mine is a typical four-piece nu-metal band out of California…well, they are for the first two songs on this really really long debut album. "I Think About You" and "Dark Little Princess" are very much a part of that whole post-grunge crunch thing that all the groups were doing two or three years ago, and all you can really tell about them from these two songs are: A) they play well enough; B) Erik Macenas sings well enough; C) drummer Todd Duda needs some work on his lyrics. ("You say I was sinking / But my heart still floats" -- eesh.)
But something weird happens when the third song, "One Wish," comes on. This isn't nu-metal; it's…it's…it's folky prog! And it's kinda interesting! Hmmm. Then we get to "Habits of Mine," the almost-title track; it's…it's…it's like all those weird hybrid hard/soft songs on Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy and Physical Graffiti! And Macenas' voice actually does that messed-up Robert Plant warbling thing! Suddenly, all bets are off, and this album (and this group) get awfully hard to pigeonhole.
Some of the songs tend towards the easy metal-ballad or loud slamming pounding pieces, and that's cool enough -- hey, everyone's gotta rock sometimes. But these songs just don't stand out from Nickelback territory, really. But other songs do, they really really do: the creepy instrumental "Trip Shit," the psychedelic "Reasons" (someone's been listening to Soundgarden, which is fine by me because Soundgarden ROOOOOOOOOOOOLED), and the twelve-minute "Spring," which morphs halfway through into a completely different song, a wonderful feature for Erik Jensen's guitar solos (yes, that's plural on the solos, there) and the bottom-end laid down by bassist Tom Gardner.
So although this isn't a great record, it bodes very well that Habit of Mine is so wonderfully ambitious. If Duda could just not write stuff like "One and two / Buckle my shoe / Three and four / Close the door", and if they could hold onto their admirable musical schizophrenia, I really think they could have some even better stuff in their future. But in the meantime, this is some fun-ass loud metal prog folk jamband poppy rock music indeed. 04-Aug-2003 8:45 AM