Sharing Space

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The second album by Australian alternative metal outfit Cog downplays the heavy Tool and System of a Down influence of 2005's The New Normal in favor of a varied and dynamic take on heavy rock that allows the band's own musical personality to develop. The trio are still capable of sounding very much like their key influences -- note the herky-jerky stomp of "The Movie's Over" -- but throughout Sharing Space, singer and guitarist Flynn Gower, bassist Luke Gower, and drummer Lucius Borich expand the parameters of their sound to include Pearl Jam style angst rock ("Bird of Feather"), slow builds to eventual explosions ("Bitter Pills"), and even potential radio fodder ("Say Your Last Goodbye" and first single "What If"). The core of the trio's alternative metal sound remains in place, thanks in part to Sylvia Massy's clean but assertive sounding production, keeping Sharing Space from sounding scattershot or losing what fans of the first album had liked. But Cog smartly build on their strengths here. (Some international versions of the album include a bonus track, an unexpected dance music reworking of "Bird of Feather" that works surprisingly well in the entirely different genre.)

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