Review: Cellout Superstar – “Prototype” (Nuerra Records)

Joining the ranks of modern hard rock bands are Stockholm Sweden natives CELLOUT. Musically speaking Stockholm is usually know for disco giants ABBA as well as the cradle of melodic thrash and death metal bands. I am also partial to DRAIN STH from my younger days because for my money you can’t beat a hot blonde drummer who also sings like and angel and looks like a…. oh where was I? Lost my place for a second. Sorry. So we’ve established that Stockholm has a rich musical history. Check! So CELLOUT (ugh that name) arrives on the scene and fits in with many top 40 (is that still around) type modern rock bands who have occasional hints of metal in their music. Not really my cup of tea, but I give everything that comes across my ears a fair listen so hear it goes.

Starting off with a pretty rocking riff and some harmonic jangle, “Dark Days” is a good introduction to the band. The singer Percy Mejhagen has a good vocal range and a decent handle on melodies. His higher register gets a little too nasal for my tastes, but his delivery is solid. Powerful even at times. He even does a bit of the old Phil Anselmo(!) pre-chorus deep whisper down and an occasional hardcore bark, but not a true growl. A band like this usually rises and falls on the talent of the front man so they are in good shape so far. The song is short and catchy, but doesn’t go to any challenging territory. Second song “All My Demons Inside” has another decent riff by Robert Monegrim and has a lot of pop-punk sensibilities not unlike HOOBASTANK and THE OFFSPRING on their edgy days. There is an attempt at a breakdown which is kinda cool with some neat double bass fills. Again, decent track, short, catchy and you get the idea where this is going.

Most of the album follows this pattern and repeats it well enough. “Flooded” is the albums’ lone power ballad in the best sense of the style. More potent singing from Percy and a nice a enough musical track that may excite some, but doesn’t do much for me personally. I do have to add that the production by Ulrich Wild (PANTERA/ THE DEFTONES/ STATIC-X/OTEP) is excellent and the record sounds arena rock big in all the right places. “Set Things Straight” opens with a cool metal riff with more double pedal work by drummer Martin Karlsson. However, another decent chorus is wrecked for me by the useless needle scratching that follows it. There are a few spots on the album where some questionable programming choices appear for no good reason. The funny part is that I wouldn’t be surprised to see these guys get Warped Tour big in a few years. They definitely have above average energy and talent and fit right in with your DISTURBED’sGODSMACK’s and THREE DAYS GRACE (had to look those guys up just to make the reference). “Breathe” is another decent song that would go over well live, as will the single “As I Fall”. If they are any kind of performers they will certainly attract some fans on these shores.

RATING: 7 / 10
By: Keith “Keefy” Chachkes
Band Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/CellOutband

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