One sure fire way to get noticed is to have a song reach #1 on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks. That may sound silly but it's true. Of course, getting to the #1 spot on any chart means the group has caught the attention of a record label and the label's management feels confident enough to invest the promotional dollars needed to get the band's name and single out there. That's what 10 Years did with "Wasteland," a track from their major label debut album "The Autumn Effect."
In the quarter century since market fragmentation became the norm rather than the exception, groups often have spent their entire, and largely successful career, playing to a relatively narrow audience without much mass recognition. "Wasteland" took the dark Progressive Rock band a little closer to the mass audience - which may or may not have been the desired result. Probably was from the label stand point.
After growing out of high school bands, the Knoxville based 10 Years finally emerged in '02. Typically, it was an indie release, "Killing All That Holds You," that got the group signed to Republic/Universal Records. From there they worked with producer Josh Abraham (Staind, Velvet Revolver) and even opened for Velvet Revolver. That didn't hurt either.
A huge album like "The Autumn Effect" can be its own prison. Expectations and demands - both internal and external (fans, record label, etc.) - takes a toll. So when it comes time to record the follow-up, especially with a different producer (Rick Parasher rather than Abraham), things can quickly come unglued. "The title of the album is self-explanatory in the sense that we had to become so divided as individuals - and as a group - to create this," explained Hasek. "Because we all have such strong personalities and opinions, we had many different directions to look at things from."
"We got so fed up we just said, `Forget everybody,' and we started only listening to each other, which we hadn't been doing at all," added Vodinh.
"It was through this album that we really found ourselves," concluded Hasek. "A lot of people get thrown into this kind of lifestyle and they just use it up real quick and take it for granted and then use it up and it's gone. And they're left scratching their heads going, `What happened?' I'm pretty sure now that's never going to happen to us."
Extensive touring (with Sevendust among others) preceded the '08 release of "Division," with the single "Beautiful." Two years later, "Feeding The Wolves," dropped.
2001 Into The Half Moon
2004 Killing All That Holds You
2005 The Autumn Effect
2010 Feeding The Wolves
So it has come down to this. There seem to be two distinct Rock camps. The post-Punk sneer vs. the post-Nu Metal depression. The former has sharp guitars and vocals that seem downtrodden but rarely beaten. Life's not going their way but screw it. Nu Metal faction wallows in the mire. The music is dense and hard pressed. There is a darkness, augmented by hopelessness. 10 Years charts the latter course. And it has certainly worked for them though they aren't all that dark. The intense "Wasteland" was the major hit from the group's debut "The Autumn Effect" yet the song stands apart from the rest of the album.
Surprisingly, 10 Years handles ballads effectively. "Seasons To Cycle" and the title track (also the album closer) compare favorably with the uptempo songs. "Waking Up" pulsates as the arrangement moves from acoustic to electric guitars. "Fault Line" roars with the line "shed my skin so these scars will mend." "Cast It Out" is old school Grunge. "Through The Iris" hits hard as does an economical "The Recipe."
Featuring the dark, moody 'Cinderella story' power ballad "Beautiful," "Division" also leans heavily on downtempo tracks. The songs are engaging but not terribly compelling. Still, there are some interesting embellishments along the way. "Focus" sounds right out of the hippie '60s before lapsing into more familiar 10 Years territory. And "Alabama" has a sitar and Indian percussion before it winds itself around a tight, stinging guitar riff. Another surprise is the vocal/acoustic guitar track "So Long, Goodbye." The melody and emotion work perfectly in the sparse setting.
The opener, "Actions & Motives" is a strong, lean track that's later complimented by the urgent, double-time "Drug Of Choice." "Division" needs more of these.