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Record Review 

Taproot

The world isn't exactly in dire need of more T-shirt wearing semi-fashionless pierced bands screaming at the world through tuned-down guitars. So why should you listen to Taproot, a band who upon first glance could easily be lumped into this wave, headed down the tributary of obscurity?

Well, because there really is something worthwhile going on here. After two years of waiting for Fred Durst to get off his ass and fulfill his promise to sign the band to Interscope, Atlantic made an offer Taproot couldn't refuse. Suddenly with Gift, the band found itself hand-picked by Ozzy Osbourne's son Jack for a spot on this summer's Ozzfest. The buzz surrounding this group isn't from any hype. It's their music.

Taproot recalls the best qualities of the Deftones and Faith No More with the vocals of Tool thrown into the mix. Mike DeWolf's guitars pack plenty of crunch, flooding the harmonic engine of well-placed melody driven by singer Lyric writing, song-structure and a knowledgeable use of melody is what sets Taproot apart from many of the other so-called heavy alternative bands out there. Staccatoed emotional schizophrenia is carefully caressed by DeWolf while bassist Phil Lipscomb and drummer Jarrod Montague guide the progressive leaps like controlled musical backbeat bungee masters.

Songs like "Again and Again," "Emotional Times," "Dragged Down" and "I" treat angst with a maturity and thoughtfulness not usually found in young bands. Filled with emotion, passion and promise, Gift is an impressive debut.

Taproot plays the International Ballroom, Mon., Nov. 6.

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