Clearly Confused (Elemental Records)
By: Alex Steininger
Henry's child is an unusual combination of metal, psychedelic beats, emotional vocals, spicy bass, and steady drum beats that form their own brand of rock. You could say Henry's Child is the outcome of this unusual mixture, and they take great care of their child. Another thing that is very interesting about them is that they were grand prize winners of Sonic X-Plosion '96, a contest of Pacific Northwest artists sponsored by KNRQ FM, The Rocket (a northwest music magazine), and the W.O.W. Hall (a Eugene, Oregon venue.) And what was the grand prize you ask? A record deal with non other than Eugene, Oregon's powerhouse, Elemental Records.
The CD starts off with a very weird "Initial Session" that lasts one minute and nine seconds. After reading my introductory paragraph you will be left "Clearly Confused." You'll wonder, "What the hell is this?" But that is Henry's Child for you. Just when you aren't expecting something, they throw it at you. "Minding My Clarity" starts off with some very intriguing bass lines. It has hit one of my two weak spots: I love female vocals and creative bass lines. You won't find stale bass lines on this album. "I don't know if I'm right, but I've never been wrong," are the words that come out of the vocalists mouth in his very interesting vocal style. Powerful and full of emotion, but at the same time offers comfort. "As To Why," starts out with a heavy band, en route of the heavy metal style. The vocals quickly enter and send chills down your spin, but then the guitar comes over like a gentle breeze and then the vocals start offering the comfort I told you about. All the while giving you a feeling of warm, and then it rips into with it's harsh power. It plays on your fears for awhile, and then jumps down to it's breezy feel again. But by track seven you should know how they operate. Chunky bass lines and heavy guitar pick up the pace, and moaning/screaming vocals come in and once again make you fear the dark. Track twelve brings "Another Session." This time it's only thirty-two seconds. "What A Pity" is far from that. It starts out with drums that make your heart pound with them, and then the bass comes in and you know something is going to happen. Then the guitars come in with a Korn-like feel to it, and then the vocals come in powerful and angry. "One More Session" hits track fifteen. These sessions give you a chance to think about your sanity, and process all the music you have just heard. "Lie Before" offers up a nine-minute and ten second option, but nine minutes is really too long for a song. Their songs range from one minute to seven minutes, and now this! Songs are meant to be short and sweet, and pack as much emotion as they can in little time. But when you prolong that, you lose a lot of your effect. The CD ends with "Final Session." Now you can process everything, because at this point you will be "Clearly Confused" on how to describe Henry's Child.
Elemental Records has a reputation for brings us some of the hottest bands in the Northwest, and Henry's Child is not a disappointment. Sometimes, though, the band acts like they too are "Clearly Confused." In other points they make you confused, but know what they are doing. This CD deserves a B+. Pick up this CD and listen to it. You'll either fall in love, be too afraid to leave your room, or just rub it off without a second thought.
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