'Man or Monster'

‘Man Or Monster’, this is a question that plays on a girl's mind quite often. In the case of the five lads from Rotterdam based band San Andreas, the Jury is still out.

These lads are well known in their native Netherlands; their tracks are frequently played on the radio. In the UK, San Andreas toured in 2005 and now with another tour on the horizon, a new album is looking to sweeten things up for them in the UK music scene. With a sound that apparently “captures the true spirit of the band and the enthusiasm, drive and passion they all share for the music” (as quoted by the press release) I was intrigued so in went the CD, and out blew my mind.

The more I heard of this band the more the “Emo-core loudmouths” statement posted on the bands Myspace sounded accurate. The music created is fairly pleasant, running guitar riffs are catchy and consistent throughout the CD’s eleven tunes and the melodies are at times pretty hard but at other moments more charming such as on ‘Leaving Teddy’. Yet it still has a tougher edge, the most forceful song is probably ‘Conflict’. Each song makes its impact on the body and encourages movement in some way or another. All in all the music is really enjoyable.

The “loudmouths” part comes in with the screaming of lyrics. These are not present all the time, but there are more pronounced areas. For much of the album the vocals are edgy and have a forceful side to them, at times they can be quite charming. Other times, they are so loud and antagonistic that I suggest the volume is kept low so the neighbours don’t call the police.

Overall, this is an album of two sides, both of which are mind blowing for many reasons. On one is the tender music like ‘The Statement’ has on offer, then on the other you have ‘Run and Hide’ which you may want to actually do!