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Well, my webmaster Mark is definitely throwing me some curveball albums to review this month and one of them is ‘Something From Nothing’, the debut from Manchester based trio Black Market Serotonin, an album which has taken plenty of spins for me to try and digest. Andrew Pimblott (vocals, guitars, keyboards/samples), Lee Campbell (bass) and Michael Colman (drums/percussion) play what you could describe as progressive rock in the vein of Tool & Muse. My issue, of course, is that this an area of rock that I don’t get particularly excited about. Even though I’m not terribly overwhelmed by this I’ve persevered and will hopefully pass on what I have managed to glean.

What is immediately noticeable is that the production seems a little fuzzy and muddy. That might be the intention, but the band has recorded everything on a budget. It’s not bad but it could be clearer. Musically, there are some pretty good ideas here. Songs such as instrumental opener ‘Singularity’, ‘DeadByFiveOclock’ and first single ‘Irons In The Fire’ are catchy and commercial enough, but the progressive nature of Black Market Serotonin means that they do not limit themselves to the blandness of many other alt rock bands. This is shown, more than adequately, in the five part title track which takes up a fair proportion of the album’s running time. It does lose its way occasionally, but at least it shows a willingness to think outside the box. My favourite song on the album is closing track ‘Hours’, a song that Pink Floyd would have been happy including on the ‘Wish You Were Here’ album, had they written it.

What personally lets this down for me, I’m afraid to say yet again, are the vocals. I have come to the conclusion that this type of indie/alternative delivery is just not going to be one that I like, however hard I try to accept it. I find them boring, depressing, repetitive and lacking in passion and emotion. Of course, not a personal slight on Andrew Pimblott, who many people like, but as the excellent band name suggests they have created a chemical imbalance in my brain resulting in a feeling of negativity! I prefer my serotonin levels to be much more balanced. Black Market Serotonin will certainly do well for a particular demographic, it’s just not one I’m part of.
Superstar Destroyer Records
Review by Rick Tilley
29th April 2013
1) Singularity
2) Deadbyfiveoclock
3) The End of History
4) Irons in the Fire
5) Purity
6) Something From Nothing Part I
7) Something From Nothing Part II
8) Something From Nothing Part III
9) Something From Nothing Part IV
10) Something From Nothing Part V
11) Hours
"...the progressive nature of Black Market Serotonin means that they do not limit themselves to the blandness of many other alt rock bands."