Default

One Thing Remains

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When Vancouver hard rockers Default appeared on the post-grunge scene in 2001, they were largely dismissed as Nickelback's B-team protégés. (Not without reason: Chad Kroeger produced the demos that got them signed.) However, as Nickelback have drifted further into artistic and commercial irrelevance, Default have smartly moved away from that particular sound. Their third album, One Thing Remains, is completely straightforward old-school hockey-arena-sized hard rock with minimal "alternative metal" associations: most of these songs sound more like a mopey Bon Jovi than anyone else. Only the Kroeger co-write "Count on Me" really goes back to that particular well, and it's worth noting that it's by some measure the worst song on the album. The rest of the album is fairly anonymous, but not actively bad, and some songs, like "It Only Hurts," are actually quite OK in a faceless Canadian hard rock band sort of way. Maybe Default aren't out to be this generation's Triumph, but worse fates can happen. They could be Nickelback, for example.

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