Naurea – New Zombie Generation
Naurea’s New Zombie Generation, the latest release from Abel Oliva Menendez’s ongoing metal/industrial rock project, is a bottom of the barrel failure of epic proportions. The album’s first spate of tracks, ending with the third number “Welcome to Monsterland”, amply illustrates why. Over the course of the album’s first quarter, Menendez has plenty of chances to establish his project’s distinctive musical identity but, instead, wearies potential listeners with a dull and sparkless rehash of the same basic elements cravenly stolen from genuine artists. The aforementioned song and opener “Sugar Sun” are the worst offenders in this regard. Unfortunately, things don’t improve the deeper we go into New Zombie Generation. Instead, the album’s fourth track, “Mama Cadaver”, rates as one of the worst mass-released “musical” tracks you’ll hear in recent memory thanks to its utter inability to focus on a single element for much longer than a few eye blinks.
It’s a consistent problem with Naurea’s New Zombie Generation. There’s really little rhyme or reason to these songs and, instead, an atmosphere where Menendez sounds like he’s throwing everything that even briefly captures his fancy into the mix. As a result, none of the songs on New Zombie Generation have the necessary coherence to stand as satisfying compositions or performances because they lack any sort of coherence. “Hello Mr. Bull” is a track perfectly embodying this approach. There’s some promise here, based on the song’s assumed subject matter, but Menendez’s writing seems determined to undermine that promise by never focusing on any particular element and, instead, relying on disconnected musical and lyrical ideas to somehow sustain the recording. Yes, Mr. Menendez, you recorded it, but it is a total waste of time and few listeners will have much of any appreciable idea what you are driving at.
“Dead I Am” stands out from a less than stellar pack as a prime example of Menendez’s incompetence. Guitar returns here in force, but unfortunately has the same distinctive lack of any wallop distinguishing earlier six string forays. It isn’t a matter of the album’s DIY production; many indie artists in countless genre manage a far fuller, more robust guitar sound than Menendez achieves on New Zombie Generation. Instead, it’s illustrative of the utter lack of ability that defines the album as a whole. Point blank, Menendez doesn’t even understand his chosen genre. “Fast Food is the New Religion” has a similar effect, but the overall failure is even greater. Given the title and subject matter, this would be a highlight and home run in even barely competent hands, but Menendez’s songwriting once again fails to connect.
The last song, “Bring a Worm to Dance”, mixes keyboards and guitar and snuffs out even a flicker of hope that Naurea might produce one compelling track with this release. Instead, it’s more manic nonsense with a lyric demonstrating no obvious connection to its title and vocal treatment that short circuits any chance of the song lingering in one’s memory as more than an aural nightmare. New Zombie Generation is a catastrophic failure from the first and it proves hard to even reach the finish line with this release. Wholeheartedly dismissed.