Dirty Wake


Cherry Entertainment / Universal Records, 2000


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Is it possible for a band to be the next Live?

Collapsis seem to think they can do just that - and since there's no glut of bands trying to emulate Ed Kowalczyk and crew, it would seem like Collapsis has a leg up on everyone else with their debut effort Dirty Wake.

But Collapsis - vocalist/guitarist Mike Garrigan, guitarist/vocalist Ryan Pickett, bassist/vocalist Chris Holloway and drummer Scott Carle - are much more than an alternative clone. On this disc, they do the one thing that is rarely heard on any debut effort - namely, they create their own unique, successful sound that locks you in from start to finish. In short, this is one helluva album.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The key to Dirty Wake's success lies in two areas. First, the vocal harmonies used by the band. Were it just Garrigan providing the vocals, the sound would be okay, if not a little thin. Instead, the multi-part harmonies used on songs like "Believe In You" and "Tell Me Everything" raise these songs to levels you would not have expected. It might seem like such a small thing to get worked up over, but small things often make big differences in albums, something Collapsis wisely realized.

Second, the songwriting is impeccable. Simply put, there is not one bad track on this disc. Granted, it takes a minute or so to really get into the album's opening song "Automatic," but once the auto-pilot is engaged, it's as if Collapsis can do no wrong. Tracks like "Radio Friendly Girlfriend," "I.O.L.," "October" and "Superhero" do more than suggest that we're going to be hearing a lot more from these young men; it all but guarantees it.

What's best about Collapsis and their sound is that they show their influences carefully without trying to clone the corresponding sounds. So while I can hear the influence of Live on this band, by no means are they a half-hearted photocopy. Instead, they take the lessons they learned, build upon them and craft their own flavor and groove around them. What you end up with is original, and it works.

The only drawback Collapsis might have is that they don't always fit into one clear musical category - which could limit their radio exposure. Here's hoping that many different formats pick up on Dirty Wake and give this album the attention it - as well as the band - deserves.

It's not often that a first effort impresses me enough to call a disc remarkable. With Dirty Wake, Collapsis has done just that - and this is a disc that should not be missed.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Cherry Entertainment / Universal Records, and is used for informational purposes only.