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Monday, November 03, 2014

likeDavid -- It Started With Twelve

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Here is one of the rarer, stranger items in my collection. In 2002, I read a review in HM Magazine for an album by a band called likeDavid that "sounded like Deftones." (don't be scared, there are supposed to be that many prepositions in the sentences on this website). Deftones were and are one of my favorite bands, so I bit. I picked up likeDavid's CD from their record label booth at Cornerstone that year, and even caught their live show. Deftones must have been one of likeDavid's favorite bands, too (what's with all my "L" bands stylizing their names?). It Started With Twelve sounds like a Deftones homage. Unfortunately, likeDavid are not Deftones.
Deftones' Chino Moreno received a gift. He can sing and scream like a space alien. likeDavid's frontman, Marc Haley, while holding his own, does not have Moreno's natural giftings. With that said, neither do I, or most of the population of planet Earth. We are mere mortals. As likeDavid use the same watery guitar tone as Deftones, the same chugging bass-style riffs as Deftones, and the same head-nodding drum rhythms as Deftones, the fact that Chino Moreno is not providing their vocals hurts. Haley does an amiable Moreno impersonation, but can't smoothly switch from acrobatic singing to banshee wailing like Chino does. Again, who can? Haley also does some strange pronunciations ("you" sounds like "youow"), which can be a little distracting. No one can say he doesn't put his heart into his vocals, though, and his genuine emotion carries his performance. So how do the band do? I've heard "double do" is bad luck.
Pretty well, actually. They have this sound down, and every fuzzed-out bass breakdown and end of song drum-gallop is particularly satisfying. Even the album's dark artwork is spot on. Unfortunately, the quantity of material is lacking. Track four, "Mr. Calvin," is the only track that could be accused of all out ripoff, as it uses nearly the same guitar melody as Deftones "Rx Queen." Track five, "I Got Sorry Five On It," is essentially a one-minute apology for the band not bothering to write a fifth song for the album. "Everything Meaningless" is simply a reading of the first two chapters of the book of Ecclesiastes. Admittedly, those are two of my favorite chapters in all of literature, but I did not buy a musical album to hear someone read for six minutes over a simple, repeating piano figure. I purchased the musical album to hear music. Track nine is debatably not music, either. "For Jason's Car" is actually prophetic, though, as it predicts the then upcoming "crunkcore" fad headlined by "bands" such as Brokencyde. There's a big, electronic, hip-hop beat, and a bunch of people arythmically scream-rapping over it. It is not listenable, as is anything in that particular style. However, minus those four songs, It Started With Twelve's other six are quite good. One stands out in particular, though.
"Suffer to Reach," It Started With Twelve's closer, is a genuinely great song. I'll go so far as to say, "Suffer to Reach" is great without even sounding like Deftones--it sounds like likeDavid.  Containing a quiet, brooding verse, an explosive chorus, a powerful (dare I say, sexy) bridge, a cathartic outro, and fittingly cathartic lyrics, "Suffer to Reach" reveals not a clone, but a talented, original band, full of potential. With that said, naturally, not long after It Started With Twelve's release, likeDavid disbanded. Who knows what could have been. That's life, I guess.

2001 Bettie Rocket Records
01. Who Are You Spitting At 4:22
02. Add Up Those Points 4:18
03. Head Under Water 4:18
04. Mr. Calvin 4:57
05. I Got Sorry 5 On It 1:27
06. Dry Bleeder 5:39
07. Everything Meaningless 5:57
08. Why Did Sarah Laugh 4:17
09. For Jason's Car 3:21
10. Suffer to Reach 3:58


sixthousand777 said...

Nice to see Deftones mentioned! Just started listening to them last year. Chino Moreno is one of the best singers I've heard all around ...

Nicholas said...

Awesome! I think they are one of the greatest bands of the last two decades.

sixthousand777 said...

Curious, which album do you think is their best?

Nicholas said...

Hmm...I think White Pony does the best job of creating its own unique musical world and hanging out there for all 11 tracks. That's my personal favorite, and most likely the popular favorite, as well. Just so atmospheric and evocative. Their most recent, Koi No Yokan, is very different from White Pony, but it is also really cohesive. I think, outside of their debut, all their albums are pretty great in their own way. I reviewed them all back in late June and early July of 2012 (linked on the side of the page), and as I read over those reviews, I still feel the same way about their body of work as I did then.

sixthousand777 said...

Nice, thank you. I'll be checking those reviews out.