“This band sounds familiar to me… where have I heard this before?” This is most likely what you would be asking yourself if you were at a club or at concert, prior to the show, and the sound guy was playing Substance D (Noise Records). They’ve got that mosh-mix of Ministry and Machine Head with a dash of Static X thrown in for groove-ability. They’d be one of the bands you felt like listening to if you were looking to piss off your parents for sending you to your room.
The cd starts out the journey with “This Devil Inside” which sounds like something straight out of the movie Strange Days then goes into a full noise riot with “Everyday” which encompasses a solid driving beat. Perfect for driving nails into your cheating girlfriend’s skull. Good for extreme sports – REAL extreme.
With a smooth production job by guitarist, Michael Parnin, who has worked with names including that of Manson/Coal Chamber/Bizkit, you become somewhat drawn to the music and sucked in by several of the effects. Bassist and vocalist Todd Chaisson holds his own and sings from a deep and angry core on tracks like “California” and “California Part 2” – which pays homage to the filth and pretentiousness of Los Angeles. “California” sounds like someone who has been stuck too long in gridlock and finally goes postal on the unsuspecting neighboring vehicles. T., the drummer and “alternate wailer,” backs this up nicely and precisely. He would be the one pounding your face in with a polite smile, most likely.
There isn’t much of an element of surprise to Substance D, not exactly a breakthrough band, but they do a rock solid job of bringing the noise all the same. It’s not difficult to go wrong with a formula of driven percussion, crunchy guitars and grainy vocals. They’ve got a real bleak outlook on the 90’s way of life. And who better to tell a story of how hard it is to come up in the music industry in Los Angeles without ending up homeless, than a trio of musicians that probably ate enough Ramen noodles to feed an entire country, just to make their music known to all of us?
The debut release “Addictions,” is a brutally realistic look at modern day society and just how numb people are becoming to it’s many anesthetized offerings. You won’t find any Substance D on the grocery store shelves next to your ibuprofen or sinus medication, however. That stuff is for wimps. They keep this stuff closer to the rat poison on Aisle 6.
(Lesa Pence spends her free time dreaming horribly gory and twisted nightmares and trying to figure out how to get them up on movie screens for the rest of the world to be horrified by.)