Ill Niño The Under Cover Sessions

After parting ways with Roadrunner, New Jersey’s Ill Niño have found a new home at Cement Shoes and released a five-song EP as a teaser for their spring full-length. "Arrasta” demonstrates their "new” sound: very accessible metalcore with alternating clean and death-y vocals by front-man Cristian Machado. "Reservation For Two” is another original, which is more ballad-like, that sidles up to Disturbed or Godsmack with an acoustic, Santana-like break. The covers, however, are more remarkable. For their excellent take on Faith No More’s "Zombie Eaters,” the acoustic intro sounds more like Opeth, but when it kicks in, it shears the door off the hinges. Instrumentally, the cover’s right on target, and while no one can duplicate Mike Patton’s matchless vocals these two guys (featuring guest vocals by the Deftones’ Chino Moreno) do a valiant job. The extra percussion on Peter Gabriel’s "Red Rain” gives it more of a world music feel and the tempo’s more than a little like Genesis’s "Land of Confusion.” Unlike the Nirvana covers by S.O.D. and Fear Factory, the group actually makes "Territorial Pissings” their own by inserting a Latin acoustic break. Ill Niño are riding high on this release, and hopefully their momentum will continue on their forthcoming album. (Cement Shoes)