The ReAktion
Selknam
(Mainia Recordings)

Heavily championed by Slipknot’s Sid Wilson, these guys seem to mix modern rock together with slight elements of metal and electronics (here termed EDM or “electronic dance music”) in a way that should appeal to fans of everyone from Slipknot and Stonesour to Linkin Park, Puddle of Mudd and even Celldweller. Calling Selknam a “metal” record doesn’t fit in this case, although some of the tracks do feature a few harsh vocal implements and some downtuned nu-metal or core riffs. In this reviewer’s opinion, I find that this Chilean act is going to go very far and appearing on this year’s Knotfest was only the beginning. Much of Selknam reminds me of the music of my younger days, which consisted of some slightly heavy downtuned leads, some electronic sections and a catchy as hell chorus. More than half of this album contains just that – and even though the thing opens with some dubstep influence, I won’t hold it against them as the rest of the record served to delight me pretty well. Also, some of these tracks are pretty positive like “Cycles and Shapes” and my favorite, “Synchro.” A very short little chorus there, “Everything is connected” but it’s done with such conviction that it works. It sounds like The ReAktion have been listening to a lot of the popular rock of the past few decades and have found a way to spin it their own way – even though I feel their cover of The Beatles’ “Across The Universe” might have been biting off a little more than they can chew. But you’ve still got the catchy, Puddle Of Mudd feel of “Thousands Of Memories” and the Chevelle or Bush influence I’m getting from “I Am Somebody” to keep you entertained. The music comes at a much deeper lyrical level than most of the material you get with similar acts, as some of the tracks delve into themes of higher and collective consciousness. There’s even a closer here entitled “Enter The Fourth Dimension” in which one gets a mix of rap-rock, metaphysics and maybe a little more of the dubstep I’m not crazy about. But once again, I’m not going to hold it against them as The ReAktion have made a very accessible record with some hugely catchy numbers that will definitely skyrocket straight to the top of American rock radio. When you first hear The Reaktion, you’re going to be just as surprised by these Chileans as I was; proving that music itself is universal and has no nationality. If you’re looking for a modern rock album that sounds like it was made in 2015, rather than 2005, than you’re going to find it here with Selknam. I can forsee only the best of things to come in their future. (Eric May)

Purchase Selknam here.

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