If you spent any time listening to alternative rock stations in the late '90s and early 2000s, it was impossible to escape the post-grunge sound. It seemed like every week, a new band was jumping on the post-grunge bandwagon and trying its best to emulate Creed, Live, the Foo Fighters, or Seven Mary Three. And such is to be expected; whenever a trend is hot -- be it swing in the late '30s and early '40s, disco in the late '70s, or gangsta rap throughout the '90s -- there is bound to be saturation. Any musical era will inevitably have its share of derivative artists who are followers instead of leaders, but here's the thing: It's important to know the difference between good derivative and bad derivative. Flywheel, thankfully, falls into the good derivative category. This self-titled debut album is hardly the most innovative effort of the early 2000s; Flywheel mines the very familiar post-grunge waters that have given listeners Default, 3 Doors Down, July for Kings, and countless others. But in terms of craftsmanship and sincerity -- not to mention some memorable hooks -- Flywheel ultimately wins you over. For all their intensity and aggression, the members of Flywheel are among the more tuneful and hooky alterna-rockers in the crowded post-grunge field; that's one of the things they have in common with 3 Doors Down. And even though this CD is firmly planted in the alterna-rock aesthetic of the '90s and 2000s, you can tell that Flywheel appreciates the melodic hookiness that characterized so many hard rock, pop-metal, and arena rock bands of the '70s and '80s. Flywheel's first album won't go down in history as a release that pushes alternative rock into uncharted territory; nonetheless, it's a decent and respectable, if less than groundbreaking, debut for the East Coast outfit.
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AllMusic Review by Alex Henderson