Michigan's Scorch act as a living advertisement for always hiring a capable producer with 2003's Faces album -- a fundamentally flawed, if courageously self-contained attempt to create heavy metal powered by no less than three drummers! Unfortunately, although their hearts (or hands, as it were) are in the right place, the quartet headed by vocalist/guitarist/bassist Russ Meuchel simply lack the arranging finesse and studio expertise to make compositional sense of much of their material -- never mind mixing it correctly. As such, a surprisingly leaden and lurching set of songs is further hampered by often lifeless-sounding vocals (see "Explode," "Remember," etc.) and manage only sporadic glimpses of promise for the listener to latch on to. These are pretty much limited to the somewhat memorable riffs and melodies of "Scorch," "Take My Hand" and "We Are One," and the melodious solo snuck into the middle of the nine-minute "Face." If anything, Scorch should be commended for trying something different with their triple-threat percussionists, but here's hoping they rope in an outside voice to help bring it all together in the studio the next time around.
by Eduardo Rivadavia