Cyber-Jack - The Great Red Spot (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


The Great Red Spot (2005)


During my grandfather's 30-something year-long professional career, he spent his entire tenure as a civil engineer for Kodak. This meant that my mother's family moved around a great deal, living in at least four different countries before she was even old enough for college. One of the places that they lived was in Brazil, and my mother has always told me how much she enjoyed the music there, and how full of life and creativity it was. So what, I ask you, happened with San Paulo export Cyber-Jack? Nü-metal, apparently. Healthy doses of Adema and Korn really help make this record what it is: virtually unlistenable.

Pop-punk, metalcore, the 2,637,788 bands that sound like Senses Fail -- none of those even come close to being as devoid of creativity as nü-metal, a genre in which every single band uses the same guitar tunings, chord progressions, lyrics, and vocal patterns. This is a genre where bands rip themselves off, ahem, Nickleback. I really had thought that the genre was more or less dead, but the computer-altered vocals and chunky riffs on this album make realize that's not in fact the case.

One listen to "Blame Game" will provide a very accurate glimpse into the rest of the album and its formula; let's evaluate:

  1. Melodic Intro.
  2. Angsty, snarled vocals.
  3. Loud chorus, with heavy, down tuned guitars.
  4. Angry lyrics about failed relationships.
It couldn't be more derivative; it honestly couldn't. Singer Andre Ston has little to no versatility in his grating, scruffy delivery and it grows tiresome before even one song can end. I understand these guys come from a trying background, seeing as San Paulo is essentially the murder capital of the world, with 12,000 murders a year there versus about 700 in New York City -- both having the same amount of citizens -- but this faux anger is really not doing a thing for them. There's no cohesive rhythms, there's no decent melodies, just a whole bunch of angst and clichés. Every single song follows the same tiresome pattern as all the ones that proceeded it, offering no reprieve other than when you realize the song is over.

If you can think of a reason to buy this album, then you are a better man than I, because there's not a single redeeming quality to be found among this mess. For years, Kodak's motto stood as "You push the button and we do the rest." Well, the only button I'll be pressing with this band is off.