Oh, back to basics then.
Commercial rock is so very hard to define. Back in the day (somewhere around the mid 90s, when I was a supple teenager) it was simple • you were into rock music or you were into dance music. Subtleties of sub-genre was unimportant • if you liked music made by machines then you liked dance, if it had guitars then you liked rock. Which means that groups of people generally liked, say, Oasis and Pantera or Moby and Apollo 440. Good days. Things have changed now and rock is possibly now more of a mainstream music than dance. It has fragmented into so many sub genres and sub-sub genres (Screamo, anyone?) that when a good, honest to goodness rock band comes along with crunchy guitars, manly lyrics and loud drums, it's hard to work out quite who would like it.
First reactions to “X” by Mexicolas is that it sounds a bit like a polished Queens of the Stoneage (without the drug references and scary bassist) and a dirtier Foo Fighters. But this is vague and useless. The problem that befits this reviewer is that its basic and simple, raw and primal. And when you have the kind of mind that explores adverbs, metaphors and alliterations to describe the music that they hear, its something that is not hard. But let's try anyway.
“X” is the album that your mate with the band that plays in the rock club on Wednesday nights week after week to no more than three people wants to make. It has no pretensions or ulterior motives, it simply delivers rock music that will have you hankering over long hair and stomping feet. From the big heavy riffs found in “Big In Japan” to the big ol' emotional of “101”, this is almost rock music by numbers. Which should surely be a bad thing.
The thing is that too few bands these days stick to this formula. The joys of “X” are simply that they have a stripped down approach and good songs to back it up. There are no drum beats added in, no crappy slap bass and no rapping. It is something that is almost directly marketed at fans of Led Zeppelin/Deep Purple/Black Sabbath who wish that music was still all about the riffs. There are faults • the squeaky clean mix sounds like it has been produced by Dettol • but overall it makes for enjoyable, if not revolutionary, listening. This is the Cadbury's Dairy Milk of albums and should be treated as such • not special by any means but damn satisfying nonetheless. Perfect for those in leather jackets with badges sewn on, worth a try for everyone else.