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Bumblefoot - Ron Thal/Hermit CD (album) cover




Progressive Metal

4.43 | 8 ratings

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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.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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