3.5 out of 5 stars

I’ve never really had any interest in Australian bands, partly because of a bad experience as a teenager (don’t ask). So when Bondi-based trio Cog’s debut album The New Normal crossed my desk, expectations were understandably not very high. Boy do I love it when I’m proven wrong!

Filled with epic hard rock tracks reminiscent of early Tool material, The New Normal is an album to listen to without interruption, to fully absorb the intense and thick atmosphere, evident on standout tracks like Real Life, a great track dealing with the realisation of what life is, and also Resonate and The River Song, a bizarre narrative put to music.

The only real problem could be that the music sounds quite layered which can mean too much sound. Of course this is not always a bad thing and fortunately it works to great effect on most of the songs here. Perhaps the best thing about The New Normal is that it has international appeal, mostly because it doesn’t sound like it came from anywhere near Bondi Beach, meaning it should see deserved success worldwide in the next 12 months. Cog is definitely a band to watch in 2006.