Defiant Voice - I’d Rather Sleep in the Dirt (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Defiant Voice

I’d Rather Sleep in the Dirt (2006)


Defiant Voice? Defiant in the way that teenagers in 1998 defied their parents by listening to Korn and getting an eyebrow ring? Or defiant like the seven-year-old kid who absolutely refuses to eat the asparagus his mother lovingly prepared for his dinner? Yeah, fight the power.

That's about the amount of bite provided by I'd Rather Sleep in the Dirt, a 25-minute effort that's long on aspirations and short on follow-through. A substantial amount of time on the album is spent plodding around with mid-range screams and decidedly underwhelming instrumentation. No matter the song, I simply cannot shake the feeling that the entire album was purposely strung together as one track, with eight very short intermissions. Even slight tempo variances are predictable; they do nothing whatsoever to change the flow, they're just there.

It's a sad state of affairs when the gang vocals in a song are the unquestioned highlight, and this happens all too often on the album. It seems like the only thing that was well-thought out and well-executed, but the problem is those gang vocals make up about a 30-second total on a 25-minute record.

Their problems are compounded in the four-and-a-half-minute "Always, Always," a song that not only displays the band's flaws but draws them out to excruciating lengths. Why, with a poor vocalist, would the band try to sustain this long of a song is beyond me, but not even the token spoken word part could separate the oppressive monotony brought on by the rest of the music. It really is just a chore to listen, because all of their misguided intensity goes into facets of the music that needs it least; the chords don't need to be strummed harder if the progression was going nowhere, and the drums don't need to be pounded on a kit that sounds tinny as it did.

It seems as if everything that could have gone wrong on this record, did. All the intensity and all the passion in the world couldn't save an effort that was hopelessly plagued with mind-numbing boredom and borderline offensive vocals. A little bit of vocal and musical maturation could do these guys some wonders.