a l b u m r e v i e w s

Produced by: Nuno Bettencourt
  1. All Automatic
  2. Paint The Town Red
  3. The Temp
  4. The Air That You Breathe
  5. I Wanna Be Your Friend
  6. Hotel Asylum
  7. Over & Out
  8. Love Is A Cigarette
  9. Too Late
  10. True Love In The Galaxy
  11. Sex In A Jar (Demo)(Bonus)
  12. And The Winner Is (Demo)(Bonus)
I really didn't want to like this album. Apart from Extreme's awesome debut I never really got into their other albums and I have no idea what inspired Nuno Bettencourt to call this band Mourning Widows.
And while there is a bit here to like, it was mostly what I expected. The album overall still manages to be OK, although I can't see anything here that would inspire an Extreme fan to want to buy it. Modern and totally rooted in post grunge 90's alternative rock, this album is not going to appeal to melodic fans or those (like me) that loathe most of what the 90's has dished up.
Just what is it about modern rock that dictates the singer must sound like crap and hide the natural melodies of one's voice?
Regardless, this is Nuno's outfit - a three piece rock trio that have their debut album out now in Japan, with the rest of the world to follow.
And regardless of tastes, this is musically very tight, very well produced. But it is a world away from Extreme.
Still tight and funky in places, the main focus of the album is to play lots of progressive chord changes and perform 'intelligent' rock.
The vocals are mainly handled by Nuno with help from his brother Donovan. Opener All Automatic does nothing for me at all. It's a heavy 6 minute long blend of guitars and rhythms with no real chorus or break in proceedings.
Paint The Town Red and The Temp are slightly better. Loose and raw they both stop to allow a little melody to enter and have choruses that match anything on alternative radio in the US. The Temp is one of the best tracks on the album. Heavy hitting verse, but a melodic chorus that will easily see this as the first single. Mix of Foo Fighters on their mellow side with more progressive and adventurous time changes.
The Air That You Breathe is heavy in a Red Hot Chilli Peppers style of funk alternative. Doesn't do anything for me.
I Want To be Your Friend intro's with some interesting and synth programmed drum rhythms that goes on for nearly a minute and a half. Then it's something like the Beatles gone hip hop. Next...
Hotel Asylum is more straight up 90's alternative hard rock. A little better.
Over & Out is a mix of mellow then hard. Love Is A Cigarette is another rhythm heavy uptempo track. Average vocals and a chorus that at least stands out a little.
Too Late is just another alternative rocker and True Love Gravity is a mellower and rich textured electronic ballad.
The two bonus tracks are nothing special, just another couple of alternative rockers, stripped back in demo form.
If you are getting the feeling I am not really interested in reviewing this any further you are dead right!!
I will therefore end this review by saying hang out for the US release and don't waste money on this imported version.
While there is no doubt a lot of clever instrumentation on this album and well written songs, there is little of the guitar heroics shown by Nuno on the Extreme albums and little to offer standard melodic fans.
However if 90's alternative rock sometimes appeals, you may find something here to enjoy. I said something similar about Southpaw at the time, but believe me this is not in the class of that album. That was metal, this is not
I am not sure who will buy this album, but I would like to hear the opinions of anyone that did.
ESSENTIAL FOR: Die hard Nuno fans.

b a c k t o i n d e x