Armed with memorable, groove-based metal riffs, angst-ridden singing, and a rock-solid drummer, Hedder has all the right ingredients to be a multi-platinum success in 1996. The only problem is that this album is a 2002 release, making it a solid album in a genre that is quite played out. The chugging guitars and visceral vocals on "Ventilate" and the poppy charm of "Save Your Face" would have been perfect fits between the Bush and Local H tracks that haunted alternative radio at the time, but maybe the public's switch to rap-metal could help this. A whole new audience is ready to hear this sort of music, and though it may not enjoy a commercial renaissance, it is still a vital and powerful brand of music. Hedder is a picture-perfect hard rock band that may have found itself arriving for the party a few years too late. That is a true shame, because Ventilate has managed to remove most of the pretension and nonsense that made this such a faceless type of hard rock to begin with. Fans of that period of radio rock should give this a listen -- these guys continue the tradition and do it quite well. Even listeners that may hate those artists should at least give this a try; this is actually an improvement because the band has managed to write cringe-free lyrics for these tracks. Hedder may not enjoy the success of their peers on this album, but they still have made a relatively fat-free album that has hooks that stick around the listener's brain long after they are over.
|Label:||Gold Circle Records|