It's the mid-late 1990s. Nu metal is reaching a peak and suburban kids wolrdwide are wearing enormous shorts, backwards baseball caps and refering to their friends as "dog", "G", and various other epithets of Compton, South Central LA. Underpinning this revolution is a speight of bands writing album-upon-album of riff-based singalong numbers, most of which were interchangeable with each other.
Nonpoint released their first album in 2000 and a decade later sees the Australian release of sixth studio effort Miracle. Whilst fans of Staind, Mudvayne and 12 Stones will be hugely excited about this it's difficult to find anything new, innovative, or even 21st century about Miracle. The title track opens with a direct copy of the riff from Therapy?'s Trigger Inside but the rest of the album harks back to the era of Staind's Break The Cycle, but with far fewer classics. There's a cover of Pantera's 5 Minutes Alone, recorded for a Metal Hammer compilation to the late, great Dimebag Darrell Abbott, but even this fails to impress. It's almost impossible to make Pantera middle of the road but somehow Nonpoint have managed it.
Lyrically, Miracle is hardly innovative, which is fun as it allows you to play "guess the rhyme" during most songs. You will be right most of the time.
Miracle feels familiar after one listen, which some may enjoy but for me it just smacks of tedium. We've heard this album a thousand times before. Even the song titles are lazy. Electricity is a decent track but lyrics like 'it's electricity/taking over me' over some stuttering barre chords and a load of crash cymbal is as obvious a song as I've ever heard.
I'm being a bit harsh as in all fairness, this is not a terrible album. Rob Rivera (drums), Zach Broderick (guitar) and Ken MacMillan (bass) are competent musicians and vocalist Elias Soriano is undoubtably talented. It's difficult not to nod your head to What You've Got For Me and the infectious Throwing Stones will almost certainly have you confidently humming along. If this album was released a decade ago it would be excellent but in 2011, Miracle is unlikely to get Nonpoint any new fans.
Miracle is out now on Riot