A.D.D. – Core (Album Review)

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In recent years, female-fronted Rock and Metal re-experienced a renaissance with several releases of newcomers and hopefuls. It could be said the Chicago, IL based label Pavement Entertainment underlined this movement with releases from the likes such as Straight Line Stich, Romantic Rebel, or Belusira lately. With Chicago based A.D.D., which stands short for Analog Digital Disorder, the label sends another very promising act into the race, which is also domiciled and rooted in the Chicago Rock scene.

On a first superficial view, the gang around Singer Matilda Moon takes the same line like above mentioned acts. The band describes their influences as a mixture between Sevendust and Heart, which comes close to a description like locating New York City exactly between Asia and Europe geographically. Not wrong, but it requires a more detailed look and listening on the sound of the band to hit the nail on the head.

Now in 2015, they release Core, their second full-length album after 2007’s debut, Elements of Emptiness. It should be noted with that debut, A.D.D. sold more than 6,000 physical units and 4,000 paid downloads independently; quite impressive for an Indie Rock band. Most likely, it is what struck the attention of Pavement Entertainment. Also, A.D.D. has supported a lot of heavyweights such as Korn, Halestorm, and Sevendust, as well as played some major festivals, plus headlined some of the most well-known venues like Chicago’s House of Blues.

With Core, they turn to the distinguished Tadpole (Disturbed, 3 Doors Down) for mixing and, for mastering, to Grammy Award winner Trevor Sadler. Stylistically, somehow Analog Digital Disorder set themselves apart from the mentioned acts in the beginning; what, for sure, is necessary nowadays to get noticed because of the plurality of bands in the genre. On the one hand, in the album opening “I Regret,” the band sounds very modern with a grooving rhythm section of Jason Delismon on drums and Chuck B on bass. On the other hand, the band interlaces skillfully classic Hard Rock elements, what gives the sound a special touch. The low-tuned riffing guitars of Jeremy Sparta and Dave Adams afford the perfect stage for Matilda Moon’s rough vocals, that offers more rasp in comparison to many other voices in the genre.

This mentioned combination reminds in general on the Guano Apes in the Proud Like A God era, especially on the cut “Not My Way,” which includes everything a song needs to move masses like the Germans did in the ’90s with their massive hit “Open Your Eyes.” Grooving, funky basses combined with staccato guitars and wah-wah guitar orgies in the verse before a huge singalong chorus. Likewise, “Hear Me Now” kills through the first run and proves that A.D.D. have that certain something to stand up from the crowd.

Then there is “Was My Life,” satisfying with comparatively calm tunes and with a huge chorus again. Moreover, Core has high-achiever songs like “So The Pain” where great hook-lines, double guitar, and wah-wah leads benefit from the rough and pumping live sound of the tight rhythm. This aspect is also featured on “Nightmare” and the goose-bumps causing, potential hit “Nothing Left,” which plow through the ten tracks of Core and confirm the received impression from the beginning until the end of the album. Furthermore, “So Much” is a stand out song which shows a more classic Hard Rock face and appears in a ’90s shopworn garb with male vocals of Guitarist Sparta in the verses. This track clearly shows the band’s Heart influence before the album closing “Black,” which again, projects the groovy Ape-antic sound.

With Core, A.D.D. deliver, which should have been the successor of the German Guano Apes’ Proud Like A God multi-platinum seller. With initial skepticism that another female-fronted Hard Rock act could flood the scene with a kind of half-baked release and trying to copy each other’s, A.D.D. persuade with almost perfect songwriting and song-structures which should leave no wishes open for fans of the genre. With all that said, pick up A.D.D.’s Core, it will not disappoint. CrypticRock gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.


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