The James Dean Trio - Getting Scary (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick

The James Dean Trio

Getting Scary (2003)

The Record Machine

There are so many bands out there that people like to refer to as crazy. There's crazy in terms of technicality, and there's crazy in terms of just being out there. The James Dean Trio combines both of these, along with their unique blend of jazz, hardcore, grind, and metal in an impressive debut album.

The album starts off with a really strange series of looped sound clips before breaking into the first real song, "2XL On An African Safari." The music is spastic and unrelenting and the vocals range from a low growl almost reminiscent to Sean Ingram of Coalesce to a high-pitched shriek. The song continues on a frenetic pace, until it is interrupted with a stylish, jazzy interlude. This is just one instance where this album leaves you alternating between nodding your head and scratching it. "Getting Scary" is full of really strange sound clips, I'm assuming they got them from old movies or T.V. shows, but wherever they came from, they're odd. As strange as these clips are, when put in comparison the chaotic, off the wall music, they seem almost mundane. The album's sixth track, "Jason Franco" is another good example of this band's diversity. It starts of with a soft instrumental intro before charging into speedy passage filled with frantic scaling and urgent screaming. The song then adds another wrinkle when it takes on a melodic metal sound. I'm highly impressed with the way these guys can splice multiple styles together without ever letting up. It doesn't sound pieced together or forced and the stylistic and tempo shifts always seem smooth and well executed, even when they come completely out of left field. I'm tired of hearing bands that try to do too much when they can't get one thing right. The James Dean Trio can do multiple styles well and they know it, kudos to them.

I see no reason why this band shouldn't gain a large following after word gets around about how good this album really is. If you like Coalesce, Converge, or The Dillinger Escape plan, you should definitely try to get your hands on this one.