Massachusetts rockers Cortez waited five years between the release of previous album ‘Thunder In A Forgotten Town’ and their current release, this self titled effort and the four peice have delivered something that should please a lot of people, even if it doesn’t exactly set the world on fire.
Tracks like opener ‘Johnny’ and ‘Until We Die’ show the talent that Cortez have for writing a decent riff and good chorus. Their sound can best be described as fuzzed up rock n roll, with hints of stoner and an occasional nod towards doom metal. Scott O’ Dowd provides riff after riff of solid Vocalist Matt Harrington demonstrates his range over the tracks, showing himself to be pretty useful when it comes to both clean and the more gravelled verses.
The main downside of this album is there are many reference points to other bands that sometimes it is easy to get bogged down in a game of ‘who does this sound like’ and because of this the album lacks its own identity somewhat. It does tend to drift within the territory of Clutch and Kyuss, but there are plenty of other clues to the bands influences throughout this self titled opus. ‘Monolith’ is the bastard son of Corrosion Of Conformity’s ‘Albatross‘ and Monster Magnet classic ‘Dopes To Infinity’, not a bad mixture at all, but their own imprint on this track seems to be missing. ‘Nostrum’ echoes the later material of Incubus, and in doing so it offers a different side to the bands sound, and is a welcome change in tempo and style. The addition of a Hammond organ in the track ‘Beyond The Mountain’ is further evidence of a bit of experimentation, whilst also remaining true to the style previously encountered.
The inclusion of three demos of ‘Johnny’, ‘Until We Die’ and ‘Monolith’ show the journey the band took and the rawer sound really does suit the songs. All in all, this a good album, and if you like any of the bands mentioned in this, then there is a chance you will find yourself nodding along to this. A band with plenty of potential and an obvious ability to write a good tune, and live some of these tunes will sound massive. Well worth checking out, as it should please a lot of people, heavy enough for some while still staying melodic and not too abrasive.