CD Review

Five Bolt Main – “Venting”

By Marcus Pan

VentingFive Bolt Main jump on the nu-metal bandwagon and try and ride the wave. Their Venting album is by no means bad, but it pales in comparison to others in the genre (i.e. Korn, Linkin Park, Disturbed, Tool). By this late in the game, it’s actually a bit stale…after all Tool, who Five Bolt Main remind me of most strongly, first kicked things off fifteen years ago when Opiate first dropped and the nu-metal scene has been kicking pretty hard since Undertow came about in 1993. So by now, while I still enjoy much in this genre (Disturbed, lately, I’ve been digging) the tricks of the style have been carved into stone already and Five Bolt Main are showing me nothing new.

They’re still pretty good though…thrashy, tight and only slightly undermixed. The riffwork is solidly hammered through by bassist Ben Patrick and guitarists Jason Chandler and Aaron Welenken. Ivan Arnold’s drumwork is certainly upper caliber and Chris Volz’s vocals are gritty and untamed, moving from soft spoken lyrics to hammer pounding singing. There’s a lot to like here even if I’m a bit un-enamored after fifteen years of funk-based metal and thrash.

Opening with the bass-laden The Gift Five Bolt Main take us on a tour of soft spoken vocals and bass slaps punctuated with good harmony and low down guitar riffs. The choruses follow the standard of the genre as they build into heavy crescendos and louder vocals. Chord progressions follow normal formula as shown in previous years of nu-metal. A good song, but just another in the mix without much standout potential.

Venting continues the trend of being just good and catchy enough to hang without standing out from the pack. Pathetic gets Stereomud[1] on us with headbanging beats and interesting guitar work. The most competent player in Five Bolt Main is Ben Patrick and his poppable, slap-happy bass work during quieter moments. He keeps the tracks moving solidly along without losing the ground and swift rhythm gained in the heavy openings. Squiggly guitars open Wait in Line before it rolls into another standard fare head banging rhythm. By now also the lyrics are getting a bit bland. What You Are is one of the catchiest and best tunes on Venting. I think the main reason for its success is once again the bass work of Ben Patrick, which keeps the track fast paced and bouncy.

Five Bolt Main are certainly not a bad band. They’re a little behind the times, maybe, as while Korn has experimented with indie videos and started hacking a bit at the nu-metal formula they helped install fifteen years ago, Five Bolt Main are sticking to it and putting out standard fare music. I think Ben Patrick helps Venting shine just a little more than they could have without him, and while I thought it was a decent release it didn’t tickle me with something newly thought of or beyond what’s already been available.

Contact Information:
Rock Ridge Music
Post: 469 Seventh Ave., 10th Floor, New York, NY, 10018, USA
[1] Their Pain : Old Man single was reviewed back in Legends #116.

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