BrokeShade is the moniker for Ross Robinson. He is the chief songwriter, producer, engineer, etc .for the project and recently released a thirteen-song album entitled The Antidote. The music is a mix of industrial, rock, and a bit of hip-hop. Robinson openly states that it is easily compared to NIN and he is right. There are definite staples of NIN that are noticeable throughout the album. Some are a lot more obvious than others.
The production was all DIY and I have to hand it to Robinson for doing a decent job but at the same time there are a number of issues with the recording. In order to have the production of a NIN song you also have to have the gear to support it. The songs basically buckle at the seams from consumer gear. Things like digital distortion and digital compression squash the songs when they should open. If you know anybody that has an extra 1176 lying around maybe you can donate it to Robinson.
The songs are hit and miss throughout the album. “Precursor” is a solid opener that revolves around atmospheric synths, a heavy drumbeat and piano. The song gets more intense as it progresses but unfortunately the mix gets more narrow and the feeling gets lost. “ The Antidote” immediately starts off with a good amount of energy and groove. Robinson’s vocals are heavily manipulated to the point where they barely sound like vocals.
One of the highlights was “Dreaming,” which displayed some decent guitar and a deviation from some of the NIN type material. “Together Soon” is another track that showcased some originality although the digital distortion is hard on the ears.
Two words of advice for Robinson; the influence from NIN is too apparent in the music. People will notice. It will be extremely hard to build up a fan base if you sound too similar to any band especially one that is very recognizable. The other thing I would say is to go easy with trying to fit so many elements into the mix until you have some more chops (in the engineering dept) and better gear or until you befriend a local engineer. Find a way to get a more polished finished product. Reznor used to sneak into recording studios to make his music when he was getting started.
The good news for Robinson is that he is ambitious, does have skill in terms of sound manipulation and can write. I think a little push in the right direction and Robinson can deliver the goods.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook