The Ahab Rex Quintet Rollin' With the Ahab Rex Quintet

The Ahab Rex Quintet describes their sound as "the vocal gruff of Tom Waits, over Nine Inch Nails-styled compositions, performed by the White Stripes.” Amazingly, they are not far off. The band’s influences range from Ministry to Mark Lanegan but their style will appeal to any fans of ditch-dirty rock. Although branded a quintet, 21 different artists provide their talents over all ten tracks, which makes for a diverse album. "Undertow No. 5” is a great example of the bass-heavy rock found here (not surprising since Ahab Rex is both vocalist and bassist). "Vertigo” is darker, effectively mixing overbearingly sinister vocals with an innocent female-sung chorus. The group have a punk rock edge to them as well. "The National Anthem” especially uses an old school punk template. This isn’t just a rock album though. "Dope Sick” features dark jazz music complete with stand up bass and bass clarinet. Also included on the disc are "Plastic People,” which is a cover of L7’s "The Bomb” and a cover of "Cold” by the Cure that honours Robert Smith’s angsty vocals while still making it an Ahab Rex production. This disc contains some great tracks. It serves as a testament to what artists can achieve without record labels watering down their substance. Rollin’ with the Ahab Rex Quintet will interest even the most jaded rock fans. (Independent)