Imitators of a given style rarely come to challenge their teachers at their own game, but NX Zero are an impressive exception, delivering a mix of emo and alternative rock that any fan of My Chemical Romance or Foo Fighters can enjoy without making any special allowance for the band's Brazilian heritage -- as long as the language barrier is not an issue, of course (and there is no reason why it should be). Most acts that follow in someone's footsteps sound as if they are covertly ashamed of that, and their self-awareness hampers the music, but NX Zero blast through their stuff with the clean consciousness of a bunch of guys who feel entitled to what they do, and like it -- which makes the songs genuinely catchy and the arrangements elaborate but never contrived, meaning that the music holds for multiple listens. Moreover, NX Zero pull out the tricky feat of stringing together a bunch of different influences into a cohesive album: their mix of post-grunge heavy riffs, slick guitar licks, U2-like delay-drenched textures, emo-ish pathos, and even "woo-hoo" choruses à la Weezer has many deja vu moments, but does not sound like any particular band. The record is still not without issues, the biggest of which is the tendency to overdo the pathos thing: there are too many slower semi-ballads full of strings and acoustic guitar strumming that work fine separately, but lack power -- which this sort of music cannot do without -- in the long run. But even that feels like a sincere overflow of emotion, not a writer's block, and besides, Sete Chaves still offers a bunch of memorable mainstream rockers as good as any modern rock radio worldwide had to offer in 2009.
Sete Chaves Review
by Alexey Eremenko