222: Year One

222: Year One
New Haven rock duo 222 released a trio of 4 song singles from 2010-2011. They’ve recently compiled those songs into one 12 track album titled Year One.
Being a duo in rock can be difficult. Consisting of a drummer/singer, who I’ve only been able to identify as Matt, and Jenny who plays the very specific baritone guitar, any weaknesses will fly to the forefront. Now, The White Stripes were a successful rock duo. The argument I always heard had to do with the difference in talent between the two members. I heard argued that Jack White was not a talented musician. Meg White, on the other hand, I often heard people opine as the weak link in the band.
Not to worry with 222. Matt and Jenny are in sync with each other. My first impression of the duo was that they were a watered down version of a screamcore act. Nowhere as ferocious and angry as Bring Me The Horizon, the rock feel along with Matt’s borderline screaming-singing style led me to believe that. Songs such as “Next Top Model” demonstrate Matt’s apparent screaming.
As I listened more, what I found was not so much muted screamcore as an early 90’s grunge feel. The simple guitar strums. The stripped down drumming. Hell, with the re-release of Nirvana‘s Nevermind fresh in my brain, I started to hear similarities to 222 and Nirvana.
Outright, I have to say that on tracks like “Red Holiday” Matt’s voice had that Kurt Cobain feel. I immediately found myself comparing it to “Hey! Wait! I gotta big complaint!” That raspy, scream-like feel as though the vocalist were on the verge of trying to control their voice past their threshold. The guitar sounded several times as though the tracks could have come from early Nirvana albums.
Overall, 222’s Year One isn’t a bad album. It isn’t great either. Still, fans of 90’s rock will find tracks that they’ll enjoy. The songs start to feel redundant at times. Something to be expected when all you have is one guitar and drums. Also, the tempo of the music seems to lag. The melancholy feel of the music harkens back to that grunge music era as well. Only, bands back then would kick it up a notch. You don’t get much of that feel here.
Rating: 5.7/10
MP3: 222 “Angst,Etc.”
Buy: Bandcamp

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