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The Killer and the Star Self-Titled Album Review

4 January 2010 9 Comments

By: A. Estes

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Scooter Ward

Scooter Ward

In between breaking up and not breaking up with his bandmates in Cold (what few of them were left) over the past few years, frontman Scooter Ward found time to write and record his own solo record under the moniker The Killer and the Star. Produced by Ross Robinson (who also helmed the very first Cold record), the self-titled debut is the first piece of new music to come from a member of the band since 2005’s A Different Kind of Pain.

Folks, I’m going to be as blunt as possible here. How Ross Robinson let this one slip past his radar is beyond me. The man has made some classics with the likes of Korn, Slipknot, At the Drive-In, Glassjaw, etc. but that golden touch seems lost with this first offering from The Killer and the Star. To say it is over-produced wouldn’t do it justice. In fact, it is one of the few albums in this day and age that is as over-produced as it is under-produced, if that even makes any sense. Basically, it’s got slick production with virtually nothing below the surface.

Perhaps the songs would be good on their own, but unfortunately for the faithful Cold fan, Scooter’s pipes are smothered in a dense layer of auto-tune, and not the kind of auto-tune used sparingly on Cold albums in the past. This is auto-tune so badly utilized that it renders most of the songs unlistenable. Sure, such overkill of a technological advance might be okay if you’re T-Pain or Cher, but coming from the unique and soulful voice of Cold, it is unnecessary, confusing and offensive.

The album enlists the help of Limp Bizkit drummer John Otto. Regardless of what you think of his band, Otto is a very talented drummer who is completely wasted on this record. The true star (get it?) of this not-so killer (get it?) album is Scooter’s butchered vocals and ineffective Casio keyboard. It’s hard to tell if this was meant to be some sort of Christian rock/hip-hop mash-up, but whatever the intentions, the album is an absolute creative failure. Cold have a new album in the works for an early 2010 release titled Epic. It’s going to have to be just that in order to make up for this disappointment.

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9 Comments »

  • zebo said:

    Great review. I saw TKATS open for Cold and it was dreadful.

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  • Vinny said:

    I’m curious to know where everything went wrong. The demos were good. I think he was calling the “band” a different name at that point. I would have rather he released those demos than this garbage. I was ready to buy the album but what I heard online was terrible.

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  • Carla said:

    I was looking forward to this mainly because Scooter Ward’s story has intrigued me and songs like Gone Away and ADKOP always held a place in my heart. Andy (a new writer here?) is like zebo said. This is as accurate as they come. Scooter dropped the ball and the poorness of this CD will be rememebered more than the risk he took making it.

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  • Andrew Bilach said:

    Vinny – I’ve been following this project since the beginning and I think there were at least two names before he settled on TKATS. In the beginning, there was a demo on the MySpace player that had a lot of potential, but it vanished a few weeks later. I expected a lot more out of this release.

    Carla – Scooter didn’t take a risk. It was somewhat of a logical progression. Chino Moreno did a similar record that I thought was excellent. I’m a fan of Scooter Ward and that will not change. This CD will be remembered for what it could have been – nothing more, nothing less.

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  • Andrew Bilach said:

    Checking to see if AUTHOR thing is fixed.

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  • Andrew Bilach said:

    Obviously not. Still trying, guys.

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  • Andrew Bilach said:

    Check.

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  • 1942 said:

    Why can’t I comment on older posts? Do comments expire after a set amt of days?

    To say this album is a “creative failure” is a bit harsh. Creatively it was fine, but what went wrong along the way I’ll never know. Agree with all the other points.

    I’m looking forward to Epic and the Nonpoint tour.

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  • Andrea said:

    hm…soundsd to me like many people are to critical and used to hearing the same dreadful music that is on the radio stations, read the lyrics listen to the emotion….TKATS is beautiful music!

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