My jaw dropped.
Yesterday, I heard the darkest, deepest, most hit-you-in-the-pit of-your-stomach songs I had heard in so long. The music came to me in the form of a band called Systematic. To say that this is just a group of four northern California musicians is like saying that “The Exorcist” was just a movie.
There are two CDs, “demonstration v.1” and “demonstration v.2”; both of which were released for public consumption in 1999. The fact that there were two CDs put out in the same year tells me one thing; that there was so much material inside the band members that they just couldn’t settle for giving us all little taste of it on a single EP. In the age of CDs that easily house in excess of 15 songs, this is a refreshing way to assemble the thoughts and feelings of Systematic in literal volumes for our shelves. One can only hope to collect the entire “Encyclopedia Britannica” of work from this band. I will buy everything they ever create if the first two CDs are any indication of what lies ahead.
This is no fledgling band. They are not beginners, nor do they sound like it. The members of Systematic are seasoned players that have either been with other successful artists prior to this project or have played themselves for many years. Enter Tim Narducci (guitar/vocals),Adam Ruppel (guitars),Nick St. Denis(bass), and Phillip Bailey (drums). Each brings with him his own creative baggage. The cool part is that they are all lying there, cut wide open for us to explore, and ponder, and listen to in amazement.
The songs from both CDs that are wrought with emotional anguish, sorrow, and regret are the ones that will inevitably haunt you well into the coming weeks. Give a listen to “Goner” off of v.2, or try “Bedsores” or “Dopesick” from v.1 and you will immediately get it. The imagery that you will get from listening to tracks like these is disturbing in the most audibly pleasing way. Don’t worry, however, if you’re not one for the depressing shit the way I am. If it’s the hard and heavy stuff you’re looking for; look no further than “Deep Colors Bleed” or “Without Form or Void” from v.2; or take “Thickskin” from v.1 for a test spin.
With their very first collection of songs, Systematic has already laid the groundwork for a legacy of other bands that will follow in their footsteps. With comparisons to old school bands like Alice In Chains and Soundgarden and newer artists such as Staind, how can Systematic go wrong? Despite their obvious influences, they’ve got their own, unique balance that easily blends with the hardcore scene and creates an instantaneous and marketable niche.
Systematic has hooked me in a major way. I’m captivated. I’m fixated. There is no turning back. Become a “System Addict“. I double dare you. Peer pressure? Perhaps. But be forewarned; if you don’t check this out, I guarantee that you’re going to be sorry for it later.