Five Pointe O Biography
There's a certain amount of integrity that goes with calling your first record Untitled. Not irony, as with some debut discs titled some variation of Greatest Hits, but confidence, poise. And Joliet, IL sextet Five Pointe 0, "Five" represents the fifth element of the earth: everything that comes from within the human mind and soul., "Pointe", gives the fifth element a sense of direction and destination., and "O", the absence of everything.) has integrity as well as musical chops in abundance. And Untitled, as it refers to their full-length debut for Roadrunner Records, means they know they've brought the certified ingredients to the table, and titles are merely window dressing.
Over its 54-minute duration, which commences with a reality shattering, "chik-chik-kaPOW!" on "Double X Minus," Untitled evinces a band fluent in such rock dialects as double-bass thrash, grindcore, and hardcore and they meld them together with hints of melody and startling fluidity. It's a convergence and Five Pointe 0 has nailed it their first time out, not to mention before most of the members have hit legal drinking age. It's as frightening as it is thrilling - and ironic, for as bad a rap as heavy music gets nowadays, the very young'uns at the center of the complaint are churning out some of the best heavy rock around.
"The way we work," says guitarist Sharon Grzelinski "is we forget that everything around us exists and just go from our initial feeling, which is just what's goin' on around us, not what's sellin' records."
The band formed in late 1998, when vocalist Daniel Struble and bassist Sean Pavey, fresh out of an unsatisfactory musical endeavor, started jamming with Sharon, just for something to do. It was instant alchemy. "We just got this crazy feeling for it," says Sharon, "and we decided we needed to expand on it."
They found drummer Tony Starcevich in another band, Chamber. He was willing to split time between bands, until settling on Five Pointe O as his full-time gig. Says Daniel, "It used to be [Tony] bringing his drums back and forth from our practice to his other practice, then he just left 'em with us [laughs]."
Keyboardist Casey Mejia and guitarist Eric Wood, as it happens, are Daniel's cousins and fit perfectly into the mix. Casey's keyboards would add an industrial element, as well as melodic sophistication to offset the ferocious combination of Sharon's and Eric's riffing (as well as the latter's guttural backing vocals) and Tony and Sean's military-precise rhythmic offensive. With Daniel's supple vocals that range from soaring and melodic to a sepulchral bark front and center, it's a magnificent metallic din. Again, frightening and thrilling even more so when one considers another dimension to Five Pointe O: lyrical substance.
Daniel's astute lyrics belie his 18 years, as he dips into such spiritual wells as Buddhism and Shamanism for insight and guidance, but without settling on a particular doctrine or deity. "I look into everything," he says. "I'm not Christian by any means at all. Personally, I don't find a problem with people believing in God or whatever, but I don't believe in worshipping anything. I'm always looking into things that are about bettering yourself instead of hoping or asking for forgiveness. Bettering yourself while you're here, alive, in this lifetime... I'm into that. I like things that have evidence."
Produced by Colin Richardson (Fear Factory, Machine Head, Napalm Death, Cannibal Corpse) at Sonic Ranch Studios in Tornillo, Texas, the record's eleven tracks devastate. From the opening shot, "Double X Minus" to the Armageddon analysis "Purity 01," with its tribal drum intro and intense, chugging riffage, Five Pointe O confront the listener with their aggressive aural agenda. Tracks like the bleak post-9/11 statement "Freedom" and "The Infinity", a song that lyrically addresses Daniel's quest for betterment accompanied by a background of apocalyptic rhythms and heavy guitar riffing, highlight both the lyrical depth and musical breadth of the Chicago sextet. Untitled, unearths emotions that many wish to leave buried deep within their hearts, but Five Pointe O are fully prepared to tap into that wellspring of negative energy unleashing their passion and turning a negative into a positive.
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