First Listen, First Thoughts – Undertale

I’ve only known Ben LeRoy for a short time, but, in that time, we’ve got along famously. If I had a spirit animal, and Ben was an animal, he’d be my spirit animal. Or something. Ben has a fantastic gimmick called “First Listen, First Thoughts” and I’ve decided to give it a try. While I hop over to Bandcamp, I’ll let Ben take the reigns and explain this process.

‘For those of you unfamiliar with the process, I ask for people to suggest songs to me from bands I’ve never heard before. Based on the band name, song title, and sometimes the album cover, I offer my best guess as to what it sounds like before I hear the first note. Then I listen and see how wrong or right I was.

If you want exact science, you’re at the wrong place.

What you see below is my real time review of this song…’

Band: Undertale
Song: Nascency
Album: Determination
Genre: Metal
I told myself if I didn’t pick the very first song in “best selling”, it wouldn’t be truly random. I knew I couldn’t just look around and cherry pick something, otherwise I would just be shopping for music and that’s not what this is about. So, we get Undertale from Portland, Oregon. Off the top, I have a feeling I am going to hate this. I generally dislike ‘new-to-me’ music, so that’s not much of a leap, but I used to like metal stuff and how bad could this really be? Well, if we’re judging off album covers, really, really, really bad.

Who I think they’ll sound like the most: Five Finger Death Punch

I don’t know anything about Five Finger Death Punch, other than the fact that they’re “bro metal” and they have that god awful cover of “Bad Company”. This is sort of cheating because any time anyone shows me a new metal band, I always default to thinking they’ll sound like Five Finger Death Punch or…

Or maybe they’ll sound like: Volbeat

This is my other go to, “metal” band. I just don’t trust the genre label anymore. Some shitty, obviously triggered double bass with a singing verse, leading to a screamy chorus just isn’t metal to me. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe Undertale is on the forefront of a swelling Oregon metal revival. We’re about to find out.

Who I would like them to sound like: The Black Dahlia Murder

Why? Because The Black Dahlia Murder is the only current metal band I enjoy. If they sound like Metallica, Slayer or Iron Maiden, I’d get hyped too, but I have my doubts.

Curveball prediction: Staind

Not really a metal bad, obviously, but, like I said, metal seems like it’s really lost it’s way as far as classifying goes. So this is my darkhorse. I have a feeling this could be lamer than “metal”.

Here goes nothing.
00:30: Super slow intro. I’m feeling spot on with this Five Finger Death Punch prediction.

00:40: An intro into an intro. Fuck, this might have been a bad idea. I hate this technique immensely. Propagandhi’s “Note To Self” pulled it off, but everyone else fails.

00:50: Woah! Nice riffage! I hate the drum tone, but so far… Could I have been way off base?!

1:15: Oh no, I think I like this a lot. Still hate the drum tone and some of those double bass rolls just sound processed to all hell, but this is the right kind of noodling guitar for my brain right now.

1:30: Are we getting vocals? Is this an instrumental track? If the vocals kick in and my man is signing like Bruce from Maiden, I might be down with Undertale.

2:00: No vocals. Is Undertale a video game? Is this it’s soundtrack? I feel like the Undertale logo is video game-esque and that would sort of explain the god awful album art.

2:15: I like this riff.

2:41: There it is. The double bass orgasm of stupidity. I just can’t stand that sound. If I saw this guy playing this live, no triggers, I’d be his biggest fan. But it sounds like a dude, sitting behind a computer, placing double kick notes in to me. Gross.

2:50: Back into the slowness. Not bad. I had no expectations (as you can tell, what with the FFDP prediction and all) and this blew them away. I went from wondering why I was doing this to nodding along.

3:30: The song only being this long was another cue to me that this was some radio “metal” bullshit. But, it turns out, it was just video game background.

Final Thoughts:

Well that was certainly unexpected. Now that I think of it, I knew Undertale was a game, but I didn’t put two and two together until halfway through the song. At 2:00, during my live review, I mentioned that, being a video game, “would explain the god awful album art”, but it really doesn’t at all. That’s not the style of the game in the least. I’m not sure where that album art came from, but I hate it and whoever made it should be bummed.

Solid track, fun little tune. Hate the drum tone and it was the very definition of masturbatory noodling metal, but I was in the right mood for it.

Who they actually sound like: Dragonforce, for a video game.

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