UNJUST
"Makeshift Grey"

(Mascot)

01. Come Feel Me
02. Nylon
03. Stick
04. Stay Awake
05. Makeshift Grey
06. Cherubs Fall
07. Loud
08. When This Ends
09.
10. Shift
11. The Sik N U

RATING: 7.5/10

Once described as a cross between MACHINE HEAD and FAITH NO MORE, San Francisco Bay Area's UNJUST have wisely upgraded their sound multi-fold since the release of their Thin Line Emotions debut, with many of the group's newest compositions taking on a much more original and inventive feel than was the case on the aforementioned CD. Although the essence of UNJUST's sound is still rooted in the same kind of riff-laden, no-holds-barred approach that was popularized by MACHINE HEAD's earliest offerings, Makeshift Grey sees the group expanding upon their initial efforts, in the process allowing them the freedom to explore other areas of their songwriting that they were not fully capable of delving into on their first CD. This is particularly evident in the vocal delivery of frontman Paul Mendoza, whose far more melodious execution (sounding like a more aggressive Mike Patton during the less abrasive sections) shines way above his performance on Thin Line… and provides the songs with the kind of radio-friendly edge that is missing from those of UNJUST's more established counterparts.

...

If there is one obvious flaw with Makeshift Grey, it is the fact that the album's production fails to match the quality of the musical output, with the CD's raw, under-produced vibe taking away from the effectiveness of the material and lessening the songs' commercial appeal. As a result, not all of the cuts contained herein have the same immediate impact as the opening pair of “Come Feel Me” and “Nylon”, and as the album carries on, some of the melodies and riffs tend to fall short of the standard set on the rest of the CD—a point exacerbated by the unprocessed, live-sounding production, which is especially unkind to the crunchy tone of guitarists Mendoza and Russell Tabayoyon.

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UNJUST may not possess many of the trendy musical elements that appear to be a prerequisite for a major label deal nowadays, but they do have better hooks and a more interesting approach than a lot of the bands that are currently making waves on the heavy music scene—a factor that, in theory, should be sufficient to carry the group to levels far greater than what the act has accomplished thus far.

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For more info on UNJUST, visit the group's official web site.

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