Yorkton This Week newspaper Oct. 15, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada
Coming at us out of Toronto in the alternative/rock/garage band The Beautiful Unknown, and true to their description this band is a rock unit at heart, with just a few twists mixed in. So what does that mean? Well maybe it's easiest to look at some of the band's influences; The Doors, David Bowie, The Yardbirds, The Beatles, Go-Go Girls, and Queens of the Stone Age. Mix these diverse sounds together and you get an idea where The Beautiful Unknown comes from.For example, Spinning In My Grave has a sort of '50's feel, while Undertow is much more the 1980s. Yes this Toronto-based band borrows from several decades in terms of underlying sound.Tom Barlow is the vocalist here, and he does a solid job, and the musical style here requires a good voice since it has to carry the lyrics well.The quartet is rounded out by Derek Downham on percussion, Kirt Godwin on guitar and Ryan Gavel on bass. Although none stand out as the next great musician, as a unit they come across pretty solid.Overall this is accessible rock. Heavy enough to be real rock, yet not buried under a wall of screams rendering the lyrics lost without the liner notes to read.There are a few very good songs here, in particular The Hating, which begs for a video and airplay.She Knows, Feed The Hole and Cruelty are all strong too.For a debut CD effort, Riot In The House Of Ruin is a pretty fair calling card into the world of rock for The Beautiful Unknown.