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Progressive Metal • United States

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Bumblefoot biography
BUMBLEFOOT is Ron Thal from New Brunswick, New Jersey. He started playing guitar at a very early age and started a band with his brother on drums and recruiting a neighbor on guitar and vocals. They wrote a lot of their own songs and performed cover songs (ROLLING STONES, PINK FLOYD, LED ZEPPELIN, RAMONES, SEX PISTOLS, and other 60s/70s songs) playing at schools, parties and outdoor concerts. He immersed himself in writing songs, making demos, homemade comic books and tour books for their shows. This continued until 1982 until everyone started doing their own thing. He continued to take lessons and by the age of twelve he had rhythm and jazz theory down.

He started building his own guitars, taking apart old ones, re-wiring them, cutting the bodies, and re-painting them. He also was doing a lot of art, canvas painting, sculptures, and painting album covers on the backs of dungaree jackets for twenty dollars. Through his art he saved up enough money to buy a black strat-style Ibanez Roadstar with a vibrato bar. The first thing he did when he got it home was chip off the paint, drilled it full of holes and painted it yellow. This would be his guitar for the next thirteen years.

He continued writing music, forming bands, playing bars for several years and started to make his own home studio. In 1989, he put together a guitar instrumental demo and sent them to a few magazines for review. Soon after, Mike Varney (CEO Shrapnel Records) called him and put him in his Spotlight column where he reviews unknown's in Guitar Player magazine. Two years later, he had his first published work on Shrapnel Record's compilation "Ominous Guitarists from the Unknown" (it was a guitar version of Chopin's Fantasie Impromptu piano piece.) This led to work as a transcriber for Inside Edge instructional videos and Shrapnel University instructional tapes (never released), and more instrumental releases on Legato Records' "Guitar On the Edge" compilations, volumes 2, 3, and 4.

After working briefly as music teacher he made a new demo, and six months later he had a contract with Shrapnel Records and released "The Adventures of Bumblefoot" which was an instrumental guitar cd in May of 1995. Around the same time, he did the soundtrack for the SEGA CD-ROM game "Wild Woody." He then released his second album "Hermit" in January of 1997. He started his own music production company Hermit, Inc in late 1997 and terminated his contract with Shrapnel Rec...
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Explicit Lyrics
Bald Freak Music 2005
Audio CD$15.07
$9.46 (used)
Bald Freak Music 2008
Audio CD$8.31
$3.98 (used)
Uncool [Explicit]Uncool [Explicit]
CD Baby 2016
Audio CD$8.56
$2.49 (used)
Barefoot - The Acoustic EpBarefoot - The Acoustic Ep
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$7.33
$4.99 (used)
Normal by BumblefootNormal by Bumblefoot
Audio CD$126.61
Forgotten Anthology 1995 - 2002 by BUMBLEFOOTForgotten Anthology 1995 - 2002 by BUMBLEFOOT
Plastic Head Music Distribution Ltd
Audio CD$143.75
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BUMBLEFOOT discography

Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help to complete the discography and add albums

BUMBLEFOOT top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.76 | 10 ratings
Ron Thal/The Adventures Of Bumblefoot
4.44 | 7 ratings
Ron Thal/Hermit
4.79 | 5 ratings
4.69 | 7 ratings
4.52 | 6 ratings
3.96 | 6 ratings
3.88 | 7 ratings
3.09 | 6 ratings
Little Brother Is Watching

BUMBLEFOOT Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

BUMBLEFOOT Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

BUMBLEFOOT Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 2 ratings
Forgotten Anthology

BUMBLEFOOT Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Ron Thal/Hermit by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.44 | 7 ratings

Ron Thal/Hermit
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

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.

 Little Brother Is Watching by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.09 | 6 ratings

Little Brother Is Watching
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

3 stars After the release of the 2005 album "Normal," BUMBLEFOOT replaced Buckethead as the new guitarist in Guns N Roses 3.0 and catapulting him into the gaze of a much larger audience than his little known solo albums ever did. Since then he has only released one solo album, "Abnormal" in 2008 and then it seems he packed up his solo career and put it on the shelf with the exception of some digitally released cover singles in 2011 ranging from "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" from Elton John, "Strawberry Fields Forever" from The Beatles and even the "Pink Panther Theme." But these were just novelties, not real BUMBLEFOOT music.

As a fan of one of the most talented guitarists of modern times i was excited to hear that finally after 7 long years a new solo album would finally hit the market. Wow! Surely with 7 years of time to write and produce an album, it must surely be the best one of his career, right? Well, not exactly. If you are expecting any of the sheer genius guitar shredding and progressive fortitude polishing every track into a masterpiece put together in totally inventive ways, then go to the album 9-11 and before because this is no return to such heights like "Guitars Suck" or "Chopin Fantasie." In fact LITTLE BROTHER IS WATCHING basically continues where "Abnormal" left off with BUMBLEFOOT focusing more on catchy alternative rock tracks that wouldn't sound out of place placed next to Muse, Green Day or the Foo Fighters showcasing his vocal abilities and classic rock songwriting much more than his guitar wizardry, however some short and sweet solos do find their way into the mix but even these seem recycled.

What we basically have here is BUMBLEFOOT on automatic pilot. This album sounds very much like the previous two and not breaking any new ground. As always there is a propensity for extremely catchy melodies with witty lyrics still in play and his talents as a producer shine through as well, however this is a mixed bag songwise for me. There are some strong tracks such as the opener "Clots," the clever title track about the people, "LITTLE BROTHER," having taken control by keeping all eyes on the government, the circus music rocker "Cuterebra" and the theremin background alternating with a rowdy rocker "Women Rule The World." Some ok ones like the three movement "Argentina," "Don't Know Who To Pray To Anymore," tracks like "Higher" where he does his best Freddie Mercury, and some weak tracks like "Livin' The Dream," "Sleepwalking" and "Never Again."

Between his constant touring schedule with GNR and his new band Art Of Anarchy with former Stone Temple Pilots vocalist Scott Weiland diverting his creative juices, it is apparent that at this point in his career a solo album is a mere footnote on his resume and not his main passion as was the case in the past. Still though this has some very strong tracks, some good ones and only a few totally turkeys, but this is BUMBLEFOOT who had me spoiled for several albums in a row with musical genius. Nothing on this one even comes close to those days. If you like nice catchy alternative rock tracks that are radio friendly verging on art punk at times then you may like this but if you are looking for any hints of progressive guitar wizardry then sit this one out. LITTLE BROTHER MAY BE WATCHING but perhaps not listening because this is faaaaaar from his best.

 Little Brother Is Watching by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.09 | 6 ratings

Little Brother Is Watching
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by floflo79

3 stars Bumblefoot is one of the most skilled guitarists of all time. Some of his songs like Guitars Suck, Guitars Still Suck, I Can't Play The Blues or Real are amazing. 4 years after the good Abnormal, Bumblefoot come back with Little Brother Is Watching which is a concept album, I think. On this album, Bumblefoot stopped a little bit the weird and very fast guitar solos, and made more melodics songs, which is a good idea. The songs are epic, with great backing vocals, big drums and good riffs. The voice of Bumblefoot is better than before, he is a great singer now. From Clots to Higher, the songs are great. After, it's a little bit repetitive, but stills pleasant. The finale (Never Again) is pretty epic and some of the solos are really cool, like the one on Don't Know Who To Pray To Anymore. A good album but not essential so 3 stars. It's still one of the best efforts of Bumblefoot, just behind 9/11 and Hermit.
 Barefoot by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.00 | 1 ratings

Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

— First review of this album —
3 stars Officially titled BAREFOOT The Acoustic EP is basically BUMBLEFOOT showing us that he can be a stripped down singer / songwriter with only him and his guitar, however there are often two guitar tracks so this isn't a live rendition. This album consists of five songs from the Normal and Abnormal albums presented in a totally acoustic fashion. In addition we get seven extras in the form of acoustic instrumentals. Basically I can't say i'm really into this rendition of BUMBLEFOOT. Everything on here is performed extremely well as always but i'm not crazy about the song selections and underwhelmed by the monotony of just one acoustic guitar song after another. An ok album that warrants a listen for fans but this is the first release from this talented artist that I could truly live without and to be honest if I wanted to hear campfire songs i'd rather listen to John Denver.
 Abnormal by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.88 | 7 ratings

Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars ABNORMAL is the 8th studio album by Ron Thal aka BUMBLEFOOT and the first release as the guitarist for Guns N' Roses. This album is the next step and sequel to the previous album NORMAL and is a concept album about his personal experiences of being a gifted musician who had to learn to exist in a world where he didn't fit in. On the previous album the theme is about being drugged up to fit in with society which in the end makes one happy but makes one impotent regarding the individual gifts that make him a unique musical force.

On this album it's about coming clean and regaining those musical powers but once again feeling out of place and succumbing to the pressures of being different and misunderstood. Although the theme is more sophisticated than previous BUMBLEFOOT albums the music isn't. It retains the hard rock meets grunge sound of the previous album and fits it into some extremely well crafted songs. As usually BUMBLEFOOT exercises his melodic prowess and delivers some beautiful sonic beasts that focus less on his virtuosic playing abilities and more on an overall theme and sound. It could be summed up that this music is melodic and hook-filled with an experimental and punk-based veneer to the whole thing. That isn't to say though that there isn't some incredible blistering guitar playing on here, cuz there certainly is.

Although this album is fairly uniform in its quality there are a few tracks that merit a little extra attention. "Piranha" is just majestic beyond belief. It has a punk-based riffage and some extremely quirky virtuoso ska like things going on with interesting background vocals. One of my favorites. "Guitars Still Suck" which is a play on "Guitars Suck" from the 911 album couldn't sound more different from it. This one is more of a virtuoso jazz meets bluegrass type of thing before morphing into a blues rock number. It is simply amazing and must be heard to be believed. "Spaghetti" is a really cool soundtrack sounding number that hooks you like a Herb Alpert song and takes you for a wild ride. "Redeye" is another melodic punk rocker that is intriguing in its lyrical meaning. "The Day After" is an apocalyptic instrumental that is apparently meant to compliment the previous track "Redeye."

Not as good as the earlier releases but well worth having for its high quality quirkiness and energetic display of outstanding musicianship. Another great album out of many and mandatory for any BUMBLEFOOT fans who dig the eclectic parade of interesting releases.

 Forgotten Anthology by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2003
3.91 | 2 ratings

Forgotten Anthology
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars Basically this release is the leftovers that didn't make it onto previous albums. As far as BUMBLEFOOT music goes the first four tracks are pretty weak but they represent the accurate history of his musical development. They were supposed to be on his 2nd album but were rejected as being too negative and thus became the undeveloped pieces that they sound like.

This album includes most of the tracks that were on the 2000 French version of UNCOOL and left off the 2002 international release. The sole exception is a song titled "We Don't Care" which never found a home on any international release. These songs include include "Mine," "Heart Attack," "Girl Like You," "Crunch," "She Knows," and "Maricona." Personally I would recommend getting the original French version of UNCOOL since it is a superior version to the 2002 version and the songs fit in their original scheme of things and not expensive to obtain.

Other decent tracks include: "Bagged A Big 1," "Meat," "She Knows," "Wasted Away" and "Mafalda." They are truly worthy of being on other albums but deemed unworthy for whatever reason. I think this has enough worthy material to merit a slot on your shelf if you dig Mr Foot's music. Although there are redundancies if you own all of the studio albums it's hardly a horrible thing to have a few duplicates of BUMBLEFOOT tunes. This is probably a hardcore fan type of package but even if you only heard this album alone you could fall for his unique brand of fusion in the musical world.

 Normal by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.96 | 6 ratings

Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

4 stars This is a concept album about taking you into the world of being insane and based on BUMBLEFOOT's life of being "gifted." It's about the plight of the bright who want to fit in with those who aren't. The story is about a musician who takes medication to dumb himself down so he can fit in with society, but the only problem is the medication makes his musical abilities impotent. At the end he has to decide what he wants and the whole point of the album is to ponder what normality is and how to deal with being different.

The only predictable attribute for any given BUMBLEFOOT album is that it won't sound like any other and the fusion-fest will take you to places you never dreamed but ultimately leaving you satisfied that you took the trip. On NORMAL it's no exception. On this release he takes a plunge into grunge once again and it sounds like perhaps The Foo Fighters may be the key inspiration for the template on this one. Don't let that put you off. Mr Foot takes you where the Foos wouldn't even consider. So consider this journey one of maybe the Foot Fighters. Musically this is probably his least progressive so far.

No need to do the track by track descriptions here. I have to say that BUMBLEFOOT starts to taper off on this release trying to keep a unified theme and all . All the songs are very well done and creative but what lacks is the knocking-your-socks-offism of the first five albums. So spoiled have I become with his music that I expect perfection and total originality 100% of the time. OK, it didn't happen here, but this is still a very good release. This is perhaps the "Wake Of The Poseidon" after many "In The Courts." Still worth having. Still worth hearing. Just inferior but still very good. Although I get the concept and the music corresponds to it accordingly this is just not as interesting to me as all the previous releases. Still this album still smokes.

 9.11 by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.69 | 7 ratings

Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars Originally to be titled "Guitars Suck," Bumblefoot (a New Yorker) changed the title to 9.11 to honor the victims of the September 11 attacks and decided to donate all the profits to the American Red Cross proving that Mr Foot is a humanitarian as well as a bonafide talent in the world of music

This is his 5th release (if you count the French Uncool) and his 3rd as Bumblefoot. This is another solid album that I would call a masterpiece! One interesting thing about this release is that the wonderful track R2 is here which had already been released on Uncool (French version). For those of us who were fans at the time of release this may be a little redundant but since that version was not released internationally I guess it was felt it could find a home here. Another solid album where the creativity is turned up to 11 and the performance up to 12.

1 Fly In The Batter..... Funk guitar alternates with grungy slide guitar. Great bridge, great solo, great song

2 Lost..... Very progressive. Odd time signatures. Guitar alternates with xylophone until a spoken word section begins about being lost in the forest. All this repeats with another awesome solo in the middle

3 Raygun..... Basically a blues song but the guitar effects actually sound like a raygun. Very cool

4 Hole In The Sky..... A short distorted instrumental. Pleasant and just the right length.

5 Children of Sierra Leone..... A strange instrumental that kinda sounds like tortured souls

6 Don Pardo Pimpwagon..... Way cool! I guess this is based on the theme to "The Newlywed Game" TV show or something similar. It has a theme show sound to it. Don Pardo is the voice you hear on "Saturday Night Live." This is a soloing masterpiece. Not only does Bumblefoot remind us he's still a virtuoso of the first degree but that he does it with a sense of quirkiness that makes him so unique. Matthias IA Eklundh contributes his guitar skills as well making this an amazing track!

7 Legend of Van Cleef..... Now for something completely different. Maybe a theme song for medieval knights conquering new lands? Or maybe a Monty Python spoof of the whole thing. Another interesting track

8 Guitars SUCK..... And you thought "Don Pardo" was the showcase of his guitar skills. Well this one takes the cake. This is the most sophisticated neoclassical guitar wankery since his own "Chopin Fantasie." He proves he is indeed in the same league as Vai, Malmsteen, Jason Becker etc. Lightning fast and precise and well-composed. Dizzifying

9 Hall of Souls..... Interesting short acoustic instrumental. Really makes you feel like the title suggests

10 Top of the World..... This is a bluesy gospel based song about a girl jumping off a ledge to end her life. Awesome solo by Dweezil Zappa

11 R2..... Also on the French Uncool album as well as Forgotten Anthology. This sucker gets around. An instrumental that reminds me of the Swingle Singers with a Latin band, a flautist and a virtuoso guitarist. Very cool, I mean uncool.

12 Time..... An interesting track. Acoustic with backmasking, subdued vocals. It's all about how we're living on borrowed time. Reminds us our lives are on the clock. Agressive fade out. Strange but awesome

 Uncool by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.52 | 6 ratings

Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars This album was released twice with different tracks so it has led to some serious confusion when referring to it and rating it since both versions are titled UNCOOL.

The first version was released in 2000 in France only. It has an orange cover with some dude on the ground. It has 17 tracks. The tracks that were omitted on the 2nd version were included on the compilation Forgotten Anthology. This is the version I know and love well.

The second version was released in 2002 everywhere else. It has a picture of a lounge lizard Bumblefoot at the mic having drinks thrown at him. It has 13 tracks. Some of the tracks are the same as on the first and some were re-recorded. This version includes 2 tracks not on the French version. The track order is completely different for those that are the same. Let me explain the differences....

2000 French release (I'm rating this version on this site since it came out first and is my preferred choice)

1 Intro..... Not on 2nd version. Bass heavy loop with a spoken-word Bumblefoot sets the mood for the album. Lounge lizards unite!

2 Go..... Re-recorded on 2nd version. How to describe this? Abruptly changes from lounge setting to a electro-punk sound maybe? Not sure how to describe this other than that it rocks when it rocks and scratches when it scratches. Very unique

3 T Jonez..... On both versions. Sounds like a Tom Jones and White Zombie duet. A hit on college radio in France

4 My World Is You..... On both versions. A continuation of the intro with sappy romantic spoken words.

5 Crunch..... Not on 2nd version. Starts out as a rockabilly country song that morphs into avant-garde metal.

6 I Hate Me More Than I Love You..... On both versions. Kind of electro-poppy with some metal choruses and hip-hop guest spots.

7 Kiss The Ring..... On both versions. Another unique sound that is kinda funk, kinda rock, kinda hip hop but then again not

8 Delilah..... On both versions. An obvious tribute to Tom Jones ? Bumblefoot style

9 Dominated..... Re-recorded on 2nd version. Same sounds as Kiss The Ring

10 R2..... Not on 2nd version. An instrumental that reminds me of the Swingle Singers with a Latin band, a flautist and a virtuoso guitarist. Very cool, I mean uncool. Also on the 911 album

11 Ronald's Comin' Back Now..... On both versions. A Latin flavored rocker

12 Maricona..... Not on 2nd version. Slowed down beefy bass, piano and accordion. Guess kind of a chanson? Until it totally turns into something else of course

13 Mine..... Not on 2nd version. Aggressive punk feel with some kind of strange car alarm thing going on. Even includes a children's chorus briefly. Best guitar solo on the album. Hilarious and uncool!

14 Heart Attack..... Not on 2nd version. Classical orchestration only. Philosophical lyrics

15 Girl Like You..... Not on 2nd version. An over-the-top ballad with duel parts. One lovey dovey, the other not so much! Cool guitar. Another Frankenstein of musicality

16 Finale..... Not on 2nd version. An outro which turns into...

17 We Don't Care..... Not on 2nd version. Basically a hard-core punk song

This version is awesome from beginning to end. Bumblefoot incorporates so many styles and genres but focuses on the lost hits of the 60s as his influence. The combination of the cheesy pop of yesteryear and the modern metal approach complete with stunning solos is very original and surprisingly good. Just when you think you have the gist of what's going on the next song will throw you off completely. Once again Bumblefoot puts more creativity into one album than one can believe. Comparisons with Mr Bungle are fair due to the large amount of influences but this doesn't sound anything like Mr B or anything else for that matter

International release 1 BBF Takes the Mic..... Only on this version. Different version of intro from French version

2 Go..... Re-recorded version. Basically the same but less effective for me

3 T Jonez..... Same as first version.

4 My World Is You..... Same as first version.

5 Dominated..... Re-recorded version. Also prefer the French version

6 Kiss The Ring..... Same as first version.

7 What's New Pussycat?..... Only on this version. A cover by Burt Bacharach. Not bad

8 I Hate You More Than I Love You..... Same as first version.

9 Delialah..... Same as first version.

10 Ronald's Comin' Back Now..... Same as first version.

11 BBF Says Goodnight..... Same as first version only titled "Finale" there

12 Can't Take My Eyes Off You..... Only on this version. A cover of the Frankie Valli hit. Better than "Pussycat"

13 Hidden Track..... Not on first version. Basically a repeated loop with extremely slow developments. Has a Tom Jonesy lounge feel that lasts for slightly over 30 minutes. Obviously included to test the sanity of the listener or to give nightmares to those who may have fallen asleep.

I'm not sure why Bumblefoot felt a need to re-release this album. I like the first so much better.The songs flow together perfectly and I think that the fact that the songs are all over the place stylistically is exactly what the title refers to. How uncool it is to spit in the face of the record companies to make an album where all the rules are broken. The newer version isn't a bad album but doesn't work for me since I know the first version so well. The addition of the two new songs doesn't do much for me and the hidden track is, well, just plain irritating.

5 stars for the fantastic 2000 French version (which i'm rating here because it was the first version) but I would give 3.5 stars for the 2002 re-release.

 Hands by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.79 | 5 ratings

Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE Team

5 stars RON THAL adopted a new name on his 3rd album and from here on is known as BUMBLEFOOT, which is a bacterial infection in animal feet! The name was taken from his first album, THE ADVENTURES OF BUMBLEFOOT and he celebrates his new found freedom from Shrapnel Records by releasing HANDS on his very own label Hermit Records. As with the last album brother Jeff Thal is back on drums as well as the guest musicians on cello, sax and trombone. Bumblefoot once again handles all duties on guitars, bass and vocals.

The musical maestro scores perfectly again with 13 strong tracks. We're treated to a journey from one satisfying track to another with the sound clearly in his own prog metal camp this time around. The difference between this album and the two previous ones released as RON THAL is that the songs have a more cohesive connection. Every song is progressive metal with some funkiness and plenty of unorthodox additions since BUMBLEFOOT is a master of great songwriting, great performance and keeping things interesting. Harder to describe individual tracks because they sound more alike but i'll give it a go.

1 Hands..... A song about liberation! Reflective on his newly found independence. Starts out rather slow and builds up to one of his signature solos. Indicative of his strong songwriting skills with progressive and virtuosic parts.

2 Swatting Flies...... Nice metal riffing. Kinda funky riffing.

3 What I Knew..... Nice Rage Against The Machine type verses with sung choruses containing horns. Jazz interludes. Solos.

4 Shrunk..... Heavy guitar. An aggressive type rapping alternates with strange singing. Prog metal

5 Dummy..... Half rapped / half sung lyrics with heavy guitar alternates with lyrics with drums alone.

6 Chair Ass..... Interesting riff with cymbal heavy drums and rapped lyrics starts out. Whispered lyrics with shredded riff alternates. Heavy guitars, scorching solo. Whoah!

7 Noseplugs..... Vocalized percussion backdrop while proggy feeling heavy guitar melody runs its course. Guitar drops with emphasized frontal lyrics and jazzy interludes....

8 Vomit..... Rapped lyrics with funky metal guitar alternates with heavy guitar riffing and guitar solo of course

9 Brooklyn Steakhouse..... Cool prog timings. Alternates between two entirely different styles. First is a heavy guitar turning into cellos riffing. Then heavy dissonant guitars. Then repeats. Cool heavy chorus. Cool solo. Just cool

10 Drunk..... Slowed down track about exhaling beer and restasting nachos

11 Backfur..... Beefy funky bass verses with short heavy guitar and violin based doowop choruses. Clever lyrics

12 Tuesday in Nancy..... Ballad about death. Sounds like it was inspired by Cannonball Adderley's "Autumn Leaves"

13 Dirty Pant'loons..... Very cool prog timings with fast furious metal riffing. About [&*!#]tin' yer pants. Freekin' hilarious

69 Cactus (hidden track)..... That's right, this is track #69. Tracks 14-68 are all 3 seconds long of silence

99 Trainwreck (hidden track)..... Same thing. Tracks 70-98 are 3 seconds long of silence

For me, the third masterpiece in a row from this amazingly diverse musician who can mix everything musical and pull it off in a way that leaves me in awe. The ultimate fusionist

Thanks to Plankowner for the artist addition.

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