The Sidetracked Fiasco – The Sidetracked Fiasco

Hailing from Sydney, The Sidetracked Fiasco have been doing the rounds since 2006, during which time they’ve played at some of Sydney’s most well-known venues including The Metro Theatre and The Annandale, won an Emergenza band comp award for best bassist, and released their self-titled EP which, although it was released back in 2010, just turned up in the mail.

As the opening bars of the first track and single, “BD Zero Zero”, blare out of my speakers, I’m instantly thrown back to the days when Bagster were still around. That may not be the most obvious comparison to draw, but hey, I’m a sucker for reminiscing about being a teenager. I’m kicked out of my nostalgic reverie by a verse of rapped vocals backed by funky rock instrumentals that sounds like a cross between Rage Against the Machine and the Chlli Peppers. There’s a more obvious comparison for you.

The RATM/Bagster sound continues in “Beautiful”, starting off with what could easily be an alternate intro for Killing In The Name Of. Instead, the song dips into a mellow verse before the energy builds again through the bridge. I’m also reminded of Stone Sour at certain points during the bridge and the chorus; it’s not so much an overt resemblance between their overall sounds as it is Miller’s vocals during certain lines.

“I Want to Fuck You Like I Love You” would make a great Guitar Hero track. If I close my eyes during the intro and the early parts of the first verse, I can clearly see the notes flying down the on-screen fretboard towards me. As the verse progresses and I resist the urge to push imaginary coloured buttons, the instrumental parts build up before breaking into a driving chorus.

The chorus-less “Snotty” starts off with mellow, minimalist instrumentals before the off-beat guitars kick in under the rap. The energy builds up and drops away a couple of times through the following stanzas. A mellow, funky guitar solo follows later before the off-beat guitars return under sung vocals and the song finally descends into a manic ska outro, once again invoking memories of Bagster.

The next few songs continue in much the same vein (though O’Donnell treats us to a bit of slappa da bass in “Wanna Kill”), before the album goes out with a proverbial bang in the form of the fast-paced, almost-completely punk “Almanac of the Dead #3”, a song in which I certainly hear no evil (lyrical reference: check).

Nostalgic self-indulgence aside, this is a pretty decent record which I’d recommend for fans of Rage Against the Machine, Bellusira, Mammal and Bagster. Oh, and these guys will apparently be recording their full-length debut early this year, so you might want to keep an eye out for that. It’ll be interesting to see what they manage to come up with.
 
by Mike Young

January 15th 2012
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