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Few could accuse San Diego metal-core stalwarts Mower of playing it safe. Half of their latest album, Make It a Double, is performed as Slower, the group's lounge-inspired alter-ego. "Road Rage" -- a punishing blast on their previous effort, Not For You -- loses none of its impact slowed and turned down here. Yet other tracks, regardless of speed or amplification, feel incomplete. "Sicko" is a dizzying 1:50 minute smack upside the head of double bass drum over shouted lyrics like "The Hippocratic oath buried under fiscal growth." Despite its brevity, the song feels too long. "Sicko" would have worked better as an instrumental, as Anthrax's Rob Caggiano lends a guitar solo that sounds like a dentist's drill.

Mower's sense of humor and sociopolitical lyrics remain in tact here, but Make It a Double might have been more interesting if the band's split personalities overlapped, maybe by adding more melodic vocals to the heavy tracks. The band remains a brooding storm cloud that has all of the potential to unleash a devastating lightening strike, but too often settles for a rumble.

Artist: Mower
Label: Suburban Noize
Songs: (1) The Party (2) Wolves (3) The Start (4) Shneak (5) The Song We Don't Speak Of (6) Escaped (7) Sicko (8) Alien (9) Faded (10) Road Rage (11) Pieces (12) Undone (13) U Turn (14) Shut Up And Skate

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