SAD BUT TRUE - System Overload

Sad But True - System Overload

18 songs
59:57 minutes
*****
(DIY)

Bandpage

Granted, Sad But True are an entertaining live band. I even saw them once play for nearly two hours at a festival, irritating the local organisers but being at their best when they aimed at being a punk cover band. The debut album from this North-Luxembourgish band is unfortunately a whole different story. First of all, without the cover versions, you notice all too soon the lack of striking ideas. The fact that the album is even running on for a whole hour doesn't make things better.

But let's start at the beginning, with the opener Friedensfahne showing the band's affinity for early German punk rock music. The lyrics are well meant, but generally clumsy. The same can be said for the two following tracks Ausnahmezoustand a Bannanerepublik, this time sung in Luxembourgish and strangely sounding like local biker heroes Moof, not only because of the vocals, but also because of the everlasting obnoxious guitar solos. The next three tracks come in English and set parallels to The Darkness and local metal pioneers Funeral Pyre, no kidding. Rising Hell and Witches In The Night have lowbrow heavy metal lyrics, and it's hard to tell if this is satire or a tribute to true metal music. Especially the former is much too long with its six minutes. Red Carnation is one of the better songs, musically, but the schmaltzy love song lyrics are rather painful. There are also songs in Italian and French. I can't judge the former as I don't speak the language, but the French lyrics are the only time where the band sets something like poetry standards.

The bottom-line is that we have a talented drummer, bass player and guitarist (although his solos are a crime against humanity). Then there's a singer with a strong enough voice, who just needs to learn to pronounce more properly. The trumpet player feels a bit lonely, and it wouldn't be wrong to give him a side-kick on trombone or something, to pronounce the promising ska elements. Leaving aside the rock and metal sounds, and Sad But True would be closer to their goal, to quote freely from their song Der Weg ist das Ziel.

It would also have been a good idea to concentrate on a couple of songs only, instead of flooding the listener with too much at once. Sure enough, their fans love it, but I guess when you record an album professionally and that's what they did by having mastered in a renowned German facility then you should also think of all the new people you could attract. In the end System Overload is not really a terrible album, and yes, there are promising elements, but I can't help but feeling slightly disappointed that they didn't achieve their live energy on the album. Worth buying if you want to support the band.

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