By: Holly Castillo
/m-‘men-to/n, pl, -tos or toes [ME, fr. Latin for remember]
something that serves to warn or remind, a souvenir, token of remembrance, to keep from forgetting
What do you get when you take 2 members from the ex-Elektra recording artists VAST and 2 of their friends? You get Memento, a band with striking chords, a powerful sound and somewhat religious lyrics.
Justin Cotta, the vocalist, guitarist, pianist and lyricist, describes his emotions through his songs, dealing with a variety of subjects, which range from anything from suicide and religion to heartache. Next to Justin is Space: guitars, Steve Clark: drums, and Lats, who plays the bass.
Memento opened for Lennon and cKy on February 18, 2003 at the Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale, where they turned a whole new crowd onto their combination of hard rock and hair metal. Besides the fact that the singer has a very strong Australian accent and is hard to understand, the antics on stage were a bit odd as well. Justin Cotta got on his knees as if he were praising his bassist, Lats. However, Memento did put together an entertaining show, and the crowd seemed to enjoy them as well, but, like any crowds, they mosh just to mosh. The between-song, inebriated ramblings of the group put a damper on things while most people struggled to figure out what they were talking about.
With influences such as AC/DC and Alice in Chains to Elvis and classical piano, these four men do put their best feet forward when doing a show. Their music definitely sounds better when cranked all the way up (and live), so they get credit for that. But their CD, Beginnings, does them no justice whatsoever. Beginnings, which hit stores February 25th, was produced by Toby Wright (Alice in Chains and Korn) and was mixed by the great Brendan O’Brien (Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Stone Temple Pilots), so it’s bound to be excellent, right? Wrong. The songs tend to drag and lack the fast-paced beats of music these days.
Memento as a whole isn’t a horrific band per se, yet they do seem to not be trying as hard as other struggling artists today. They appear to have been handed a recording contract on a silver platter since two of the members were already signed to VAST. If you like artists that don’t give a damn about how their music sounds or the energy put into it, or bands who are just in it for the money, then Memento is for you.