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BUMBLEFOOT

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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Buy BUMBLEFOOT Music


AbnormalAbnormal
Bald Freak Music 2008
Audio CD$14.99
$12.81 (used)
NormalNormal
Explicit Lyrics
Bald Freak Music 2005
Audio CD$15.73
$11.80 (used)
Barefoot - The Acoustic EpBarefoot - The Acoustic Ep
CD Baby 2009
Audio CD$8.30
$14.91 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
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BUMBLEFOOT discography


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

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

4.71 | 5 ratings
Ron Thal/The Adventures Of Bumblefoot
1995
4.79 | 5 ratings
Ron Thal/Hermit
1997
4.69 | 4 ratings
Hands
1998
4.54 | 4 ratings
9.11
2001
4.21 | 5 ratings
Uncool
2002
3.80 | 6 ratings
Normal
2005
3.79 | 5 ratings
Abnormal
2008

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
2003

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

3.00 | 1 ratings
Barefoot
2008

BUMBLEFOOT Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Barefoot by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2008
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Barefoot
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

— 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.

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 Abnormal by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2008
3.79 | 5 ratings

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Abnormal
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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

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Forgotten Anthology
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Normal by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.80 | 6 ratings

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Normal
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 9.11 by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.54 | 4 ratings

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9.11
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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

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 Uncool by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 2002
4.21 | 5 ratings

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Uncool
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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 Hands by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.69 | 4 ratings

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Hands
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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

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 Ron Thal/The Adventures Of Bumblefoot by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 1995
4.71 | 5 ratings

BUY
Ron Thal/The Adventures Of Bumblefoot
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars I first discovered Ron Thal aka Bumblefoot (now playing with Guns N Roses) on Shrapnel Records' virtuoso guitarist showcase CD "Ominious Guitarists From The Unknown." Out of the 10 or so guitarists featured, one stood out like a sore thumb, or should I say foot. That song was "Chopin Fantasie" and as the title suggests it is based on a Chopin song "Scherzo No 1 in B minor" but adds twists and turns and even multi-genres to the extremely precise and creative cut. I was hooked. I immediately sought out other albums beginning with his first release titled THE ADVENTURES OF BUMBLEFOOT

After one listen, I was blown away. How could a guitarist be this good and why was he so obscure and unknown? This is the album that showed me that one can be a virtuoso in ALL the genres often simultaneously. Bumblefoot successfully fuses rock and metal vibrancy with pop sensibilities and progressive layerings and outbursts, jazzy rhythms and chords, funk, flamenco and even ragtime, often with sounds I don't think existed before all jumbled together in not a chaotic way, but in a logical amazingly complex way. In short, imagine Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Mr. Bungle and maybe Django Rheinhardt all fused together into one person. That is the closest analogy I can think of in describing this album. To make it even more original he built all his guitars himself. He is proudly displaying his famous Swiss cheese guitar on the back cover.

Although the production on this is very good, this is a one-man show recorded entirely on a sixteen-track and does contain drum machines and synths for horns. Never bothers me since it's done so well. A masterpiece of musical masturbation if there ever was one

Since there no other reviews on this album I will give a short description of each cut as they are all so very different. All the songs are named after animal diseases (his wife is a veterinarian)

1. Bumblefoot..... Jazzy-funky metal. Lots of twists and turns and soloing. Expect the unexpected but in a pleasing way.

2. Orf.....One of my favorites. Pastoral guitar makes you feel like your flying on a breeze accompanied by strange breaks, alien solos and liberal use of a thimble

3. Scrapie.....A more straight-on jazzy rocker with less progressive tendencies but bass heavy and catchy

4. Blue Tongue.....Another favorite. More jazz-funk metal with skat type vocal breaks, dueling guitars, call-and-response guitars with bass, audience type shouting and of course, scorching solos

5. Limberneck.....A little ditty that is a kinda countrified ragtime piece. Very short, but very pleasant

6. Q Fever.....Anyone for 70s funk Bumblefoot style? Beefy bass funk with progressive time signatures, odd solos, vocals as an instrument. Another favorite!

7. Strawberry Footrot.....Another straight-on jazzy rocker with unexpected additions

8. Ick.....Flamenco and prog metal playing together like good little kids. Excellent use of drum machine

9. Malignant Carbuncle.....Backmasking guitar wankery. Not what you expect!

10. Rinderpest.....The ballad. Time to relax before the next cut. One of my least favorites but has grown on me

11. Strangles.....The most progressive. The most frenetic. I'm not sure how to describe this. It is like nothing I have ever heard before. An all-time favorite! Makes me think of aliens on speed

12. Fistulous Withers.....A lugubrious sounding closer (a pre-mystery track successor). A reflective slower piece. Not highlighting much except for the mood

13. * 14. *Shell On The Sand.....Although these are listed on here, they are simply embedded in track 12 on the original release as mystery tracks. I'll let you discover their mystery for yourselves. Maybe it's different on the re-release

Long out of print until recently, the re-release contains bonus tracks of the "Wild Woody" soundtrack, a SEGA game from the 90s

What can I say? Thumbs way up on this one. One of my all-time favorite albums. Despite being a one-man project this album sounds full. More creativity displayed on this one album than most bands muster up in an entire career.

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 Ron Thal/Hermit by BUMBLEFOOT album cover Studio Album, 1997
4.79 | 5 ratings

BUY
Ron Thal/Hermit
Bumblefoot Progressive Metal

Review by siLLy puPPy
Prog Reviewer

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.

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Thanks to Plankowner for the artist addition.

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