Reviews roundup – Adrian Galysh vs. Curved Air vs. Samuel Jack vs. Outmask vs. The Losts
Into The Blue
Now here’s an excellent album of blues from L.A. based guitarist, Adrian Galysh who along with drummer Joey Heredia (Stevie Wonder) and bassist Paul Loranger (Eric Sardinas) as well as guest vocals from Kacee Clanton (Joe Cocker, Beth Hart) on some tracks and they’ve turned in a really enjoyable set.
Mr Galysh has a good reputation as a guitarist and it’s well founded if this is anything to go by. It’s a mixture of covers and originals with the likes of Junior Wells “Messin’ With The Kid” (with Supertramp guitarist Carl Verheyen) and Bobby Blue Bland’s “Further On Up The Road” rubbing shoulders with excellent new tunes such as “Barstool Monarchy” and “The War”.
I must admit I do favour the numbers that feature Kacee Clanton who reminds me of Bekka Bramlett in places although Mr Galysh does a decent job with his own vocals. It’s got that modern production sheen which would endear it to fans of Joe Bonamassa. Best of all, though, is a take on Jimmy Cox’s “Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down And Out)” which is just sublime. Definitely one for fans of modern blues.
Tapestry Of Propositions
Curved Air Records
A sort of live album from seventies progsters Curved Air. I say sort of because it’s actually sixty minutes of the song recorded at an assortment of different venues during their 2013/2014 live shows.
Which is grand if you really love the tune “Propositions”. This is apparently going to be first in a series of releases bannered as Curved Air rarities, so you’d think that there was more in the vault than fifteen versions of the same 1970 song. But fair play for trying to do something a wee bit different.
Now there is no doubt that Florian Pilkington-Miksa (drums), Kirby Gregory (guitar), Chris Harris (bass), Robert Norton (keys) and Paul Sax (violin) who were Curved Air at that point are top rate musicians. But it’s hard going.
Sonja Kristina only appears on the introduction and reprise, so it’s predominately a series of jazz fusion meets prog improvisations around the same song. Soundwise, it’s probably A-minus bootleg quality so the definition of For Die-Hard Fans only.
Let It All Out
Placements. It’s the future. And it’s also how a lot of musicians keep their heads above water with the music industry in terminal decline. Thing is, though, you rarely know who they are. SO you’ve probably missed Mr Jack and his tunes which have featured on Grimm, Nashville, UFC and others.
So here’s your chance to catch up on his folky, rootsy Americana styled pop offering. And he’s very good at what he does, with a strong vocal and some excellent melodies, the best of which is, quite rightly, the ringing title track.
But when he takes things down a notch as he does on “All The Things”, then he’s equally good, as the strings and pianos allow the vocal to shine even brighter. He closes things with an acoustic number, “Remember Me”, an apposite title for someone we should hear an awful lot more of.
A Kind Of Being
Ms Metal Records
Brazil! And not for the bloody Olympics. No, we’re going there for some progressive metal courtesy of Outmask. They started life back in 2011 and five years on they’ve put together a rather excellent album.
It’s modern prog metal, so there are lots of nods to the big boys like Dream Theater but ED Paul (vocals), Daniel Samson (guitars), Marcel Metal (bass), Omar de Paula (keyboards) and Diego Souza (drums) have put their own twist on things. And how much do I hope that Marcel Metal is his real name.
There are lots of dense rhythms, convoluted guitars and keyboard swooshes, which is just what you want in your prog metal with the added bonus of a really good singer. Which can sometimes be the weak ling in prog metal, but not here. There are a few good tunes on offer with Blindness” and “Numb” probably the best of the bunch. Definitely one to keep an eye out for.
Of Shades & Deadlands
France now for some Dark Metal. And to be honest, in places, it’s bordering on Black Metal. The Losts have been together since 2010, cite their influences as Megadeth, Mercyful Fate, Dio, Paradise Lost, Therion and Melechesh, released their debut EP ‘No God, No Devil’ in 2013 and have now unleashed this album on the world.
The members of the band don’t seem keen on vowels, so the lineup here is YGC: Lead Vocals/Guitars/Mandolin, GGV: Bass/Backing Vocals, JCR: Drums/Black & Backing Vocals and DGC: Guitars/Thrash & Backing Vocals. Yes, mandolin. However, panic not, it’s resolutely heavy metal from top to bottom. And anyone who grew up on the likes of Priest and Maiden won’t feel too lost here, regardless of it’s modern day venom.
But tread warily because there is a fair whack of Norwegian style screaming going on in the grooves of “My Devil’s Rising” and “Synthethic Head (Electrodrama)”. However, the guitars are more old school metal and that helps ground the album. If you’re hunting for the aforementioned mandolin, then skip through to “Lema Sabachtani”. Other highlights include the Lemmy tribute “Motörcry” but whatever groove you drop the needle on results in bleeding metal. (3’02)