Reviewing is a very subjective thing. If you aren’t taken by something, you don’t slag a band off just for the sake of it; after all it is just your opinion and obviously any band believes in and puts a lot of effort into their music. So, what I do is more research to see what other people are saying. Sometimes that helps you understand things more clearly, occasionally find someone else who thinks similarly to you or, as in this case, become more frustrated as I appear to be the only person (of all the reviews and comments I’ve found so far) that doesn’t rate Hundred Days as the next big thing!
The first thing that threw me when listening to and reading about ‘Mission Exodus’ (the third album from Yeovil based Hundred Days) was the myriad of styles that permeate the release. Of course, there is nothing wrong with having many influences but, at the end of the day, you hope that they will merge together into a coherent sound. What I hear is a band that doesn’t really seem to have found its direction. Mixing styles such as Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, and 30 Seconds to Mars but with a slightly modern Indie twist are all well and good if it doesn’t sound like three different bands on one album. Without the extra research I also would have been completely unaware of the story behind the songs which, supposedly, is about half of the Earth’s population leaving due to the planet’s imminent self-destruction (something similar was covered much more coherently in the recent Vision Divine album I reviewed).
Hundred Days manage their sound best when tackling a mixture of Classic Rock with a touch of Sleaze as on ‘Taste of Circumstance’, which sounds like a hybrid of Guns N’ Roses and Zodiac Mindwarp, and is by far the best track on display here. Others which have the edge are the title track (although not a good song to start the album as it is too mid-paced) and ‘Whatever Happened To You’. Unfortunately the rest are all a bit bland. ‘Burn In Hell’ and ‘You Keep Fighting, especially with their slightly more modern sounding verses, are, to me, just plain boring.
Secondly I’m also not that impressed with Stuart Curtin’s vocals. He’s certainly not a bad singer but there is just something authentic ‘missing’ in his delivery that makes me think that a different vocalist might improve some of the songs a little. He was originally just a lead guitarist and I think that is where his focus should stay. Lastly there are two cover versions which, in my opinion, throw up even more confusion. Unlike some people I have no objection to bands doing covers but both of these sound misplaced. Placing ‘Power of Love’ (Huey Lewis and the News) smack bang in the middle of the CD does nothing to improve the flow of this already muddled album and a very mediocre version of ‘Live and Let Die’ (Wings) to end things off does them no favours either! I don’t want to sound overly critical as (judging by other comments) there are plenty of people who like Hundred Days but I’m going to finish off this review by quoting a lyric from their song ‘What We Do’. It goes “If you don’t like what we do, there’s the door”. Well... I’m going to shut it firmly on the way out!
Rogue Rock Records
Review by RIck Tilley
22nd Oct 2012
1) Intro; 2) Mission Exodus
3) Taste of Convenience
4) What We Do
5) Burn in Hell; 6) Suicide Joe
7) Power of Love; 8) Psycho Woman
9) Whatever Happened to You
10) You Keep Fighting; 11) Heads Are Turning
12) Mission Exodus (reprise)
13) Launch; 14) Started to End
15) Live and Let Die (Live)
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"...a band that doesn’t really seem to have found its direction. Mixing styles such as Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Led Zeppelin, and 30 Seconds to Mars but with a slightly modern Indie twist are all well and good if it doesn’t sound like three different bands on one album."