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Bumblefoot Ron Thal/Hermit album cover
4.43 | 8 ratings | 2 reviews | 25% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Zero
2. Hermit
3. Fatback
4. Freak
5. Sweetmeat
6. I Can't Play The Blues
7. Gray
8. Unsound
9. Goodbye
10. Rowboat
11. Hangup
12. Every Time I Shake My Head
13. (It's Like Christmas)

Line-up / Musicians

- Ron Thal / guitars, vocals

Releases information


Thanks to Plankowner for the addition
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BUMBLEFOOT Ron Thal/Hermit ratings distribution

(8 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(25%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(62%)
Good, but non-essential (12%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BUMBLEFOOT Ron Thal/Hermit reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by siLLy puPPy
COLLABORATOR PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams
5 stars HERMIT is the 2nd release by Ron Thal aka Bumblefoot. This album proves that he's not only a virtuoso at every instrument he picks up but also as a songwriter and producer. The drum machines have been replaced by his brother Jeff Thal, guests musicians add the additional instruments (cello and sax) and the album sounds more like a real band than his debut. The music is an eclectic mix but the main sound is a kind of progressive grunge. Progressive, poppy, jazzy, grungy metal. The lyrics are mostly sardonic humor

1. Zero.....This is actually an intro for the next track. It is a lightning fast acoustic arpeggio with haunting cello building up with vocals to a climax which turns into...

2. Hermit.....A progressive grunge sound quickly gives way to odd drumming with cello and then becomes grungy again. Pattern repeats.

3. Fatback.....Another progressive grunge track. Catchy but one of the lesser tracks

4. Freak.....Reminds me of "Sabotage" by the Beastie Boys but more metal and has a chorus

5. Sweetmeat.....A laid-back track giving room for lots of cello. Sung from the perspective of a dead carcass being consumed by flies.

6. I Can't Play The Blues.....A shredfest blues song with rapped lyrics. Guitar is smokin! Lyrics: a shredder's self-deprication in musical form. Highly original and a favorite! The sax is a nice touch

7. Gray.....A strange set of sounds sets the mood for a depressive acoustic/grungy number

8. Unsound.....Starts off sounding like a psychedelic Pink Floyd acoustic guitar track but has extreme metal outbursts occasionally

9. Goodbye.....Another grungy track. Catchy but another of the lesser tracks

10. Rowboat.....My favorite song. Frenetic and super-progressive. Sung from the perspective of a boater who drowned after hitting his head on his rowboat. The musical journey takes you through many influences including Steely Dan and funky metal. Jazzy-funky soloing and nice blue-grassy metal choruses.

11. Hangup.....Strange song indeed. About having the impulse to call someone and too scared to talk. So whadda ya do...? Funky bass, prog metal, acoustic jazz, reggae. Another favorite!

12. Every Time I Shake My Head (It's Like Christmas).....Now for something completely different. What? On a Bumblefoot album? Starts off with an acoustic jazz guitar and Bing Crosby vocals. After the crooning is done it breaks into serious metal shredding and ultimately back to jazz. Ahh! The cleverest song about dandruff i've ever heard. Maybe the only one as well

Another home-run for Bumblefoot! One of my favorite albums of all-time. For hyperactive freaks who love the speed of Vai, the wit of Zappa, the unpredictability of Mr. Bungle.

Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars It's well worth reading the bio here for BUMBLEFOOT or on the RYM site just to see the accomplishments of multi- instrumentalist Ron Thal the man behind this project. He is one special and talented human being I'll say that, and he's known as being a very innovative guitarist. And I didn't know how much influence he had on "Chinese Democracy" by GUNS AND ROSES, a band he would be a part of at that point in time. "Hermit" is Ron's second studio album from 1997 and he's got lots more help than he had on the debut and it certainly was a smart move on his part. His brother Jeff is on board here and he is an excellent drummer plus we get some cello and sax. The music is like a trip back to the nineties for me with that Grunge, Alternative style standing out more than anything else although there's lots of variety and plenty of humour.

"Zero" is the 2 minute opener with beautiful, melodic guitar and cello. Some faint spoken words after a minute and the cello is more prominent late. "Hermit" is catchy with drums, guitar, vocals and cello. It reminds me of 90's Alternative and the vocals seem mixed a little low for some reason but this is a great track. Nice guitar solo after 3 minutes then cello and classical-like guitar ends it. "Fatback" is a top four track for me. It's heavy with vocals and I really dig the vocals. "Freak" is my favourite song on here. Guitar and a heavy sound to start as these BEASTIE BOYS-like vocals shout the lyrics. Kicking ass! Head-banging time and check out the ripping guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. "Sweetmeat" is more stripped down with almost spoken vocals, drums and guitar. It's heavier a minute in as contrasts continue. An interesting guitar solo after 3 minutes as well. "I Can't Play The Blues" is humerous with fast paced almost spoken vocals like he's rapping almost. Some crazy guitar solos too and this is really catchy.

"Gray" has these experimental sounds that pulse before the drums and guitar take over with vocals not far behind really reminding me of NIRVANA. The vocals and sound turn more powerful as these contrasts continue. Check out the screaming guitar 2 1/2 minutes in. "Unsound" is another top four and it opens with strummed guitar as another guitar solos over top. Smooth multi-vocals join in after 1 1/2 minutes and it kicks in hard about a minute later as contrasts continue. "Goodbye" is my final top four. This is powerful as the vocals join in. What a guitar solo starting after 2 minutes. Killer! "Rowboat" is complex and fast paced as the vocals come in shouting but they settle down before a minute as it does instrumentally as well. Again contrasts continue. It's an okay song but extreme and all over the place at times. "Hangup" has a nasty guitar intro before turning jazzy, almost loungey after a minute. This is one crazy tune. "Every Time I Shake My Head(It's Like Christmas)" would make a great Christmas song to listen to every year. It's funny and quite jazzy with sappy vocals until it turns heavy around 2 minutes but it's back to the silliness late.

Easily 4 stars but a little too much like Grunge and a little too mainstream at times for my tastes. Too familiar I suppose but man this is entertaining.

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