16 - Zoloft Smile (2003)
©Relapse Records


  1. Damone (3:15)
  2. Hearing Voices (3:28)
  3. Zoloft Smile (3:10)
  4. Balloon Knot (3:59)
  5. Workplace on Fire (2:16)
  6. Born to Lose (4:13)
  7. Grip of Delusion (2:44)
  8. Aging Disgracefully (2:13)
  9. You're Not My Real Dad (3:36)
  10. Poverty (4:27)

I like pleasant surprises, even if it is of a dark nature. Take 16, a Stoner/Hardcore band from Southern California. Within the downhearted content of Zoloft Smile, you'll find no reason to laugh, but plenty to frown. 16 knows heavy, and if it's not the down tuned guitars that convinces you of this, then the depressing lyrics and painful screaming of vocalist Cris Jerue will definitely bitch-slap any hint of joy off your sorry face. Zoloft Smile is all about making you feel as shitty as the band does. In all honesty, I wouldn't have it any other way. The group have perfectly captured in their compositions, the essence of being pissed off with depressing lyrics, pale screams and simple down-tuned melodic/Hardcore guitar riffs which indicate with their grooves that 16 doesn't give a shit about your life or theirs.

Zoloft Smile is a short album, and it's hard to say too much about it. Despite the fact the band holds their talent consistently throughout the album, I must admit it would have been nice to see more variation within the tracks. The songs average from two and a half to four minutes each and after a while, each track seems to merge as one, making it difficult to realize when one track begins and the other ends. It's not such a big problem though, as I find the good outweighs the bad on Zoloft Smile. Although the guitar work is well done. A lot of the riffs in some songs sound like filler and the vocals, while great; can take some time getting used to, as some people won't necessarily enjoy the monotonous style in which their construed. I believe a few more tempo and scale changes along with more variations with the singing could have worked wonders for the band on this one. Throwing in a bit of double bass into the mix wouldn't have hurt either.

In closing, I recommend Zoloft Smile. It's not by any means a bad album. It's got some flaws however that do stick out more than I wish they would. Despite them, the album has received many spins in my favor. Good show. Not out-standing, but good.





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