Artist: dUg Pinnick, Eric Gales & Thomas Pridgen
Album: Pinnick Gales Pridgen
To begin this review in a somewhat honest way I must admit that I’ve had expectations for this album of GIANT proportions, being a fan of both Pinnick (King’s X) and Gales for quite a while now. And the news they were recording together, although no enormous surprise (as Pinnick has been recording with at least half of the metal world by now), the combination of the two sounded quite appealing to me as they both brings an abundance of feeling and soul/blues to what they do. Pridgen I were less aware of, but after reading up a bit I quickly realized he recorded with Gales before (on the Crystal Vision as well as thePsychedelic Undergroundalbum) and also were a member of the Grammy winning band The Mars Volta. The band that very recently (and very publicly) called it quits via Twitter. After learning those things the expectations for this album didn’t get smaller, to say the least.
Behind the project and the label supporting the project are also some of the real heavyweights of metal as Mike Varney, co-owner of the Magna Carta label has both been producing and co-writing some of the songs with the group something he already did before on previous Gales-albums.
The question is: Do they deliver?
1. Chopping away from riff 1 on the first rough and heavy blues rock track, the Collateral Damage this record is pretty much it. This track and album is Eric Gales to me when he is at his absolute best, on top of that trading vocal duties throughout the record with dUg. Eric Gales is shredding away like There’s no tomorrow. dUg Pinnick’s bass is thundering and Thomas Pridgen brings the best from his drumming arsenal to make the music flow throughout, and every now and then he explodes into a frenzy making the drums become as important and as natural as if they were the other members’ own heartbeats. Total seamlessness. It’s nothing short of pure joy to listen too.
2. The next track Angels and Aliens are based on a fast blues phrase that runs throughout the entire song with Eric singing the lead vocals in the verses and dUg in the choruses. I can especially recommend You to listen to the mental last 1,5 minutes of breakdown, when the guys playing could just as well have been Jimi Hendrix with band.
3. The third track is Eric’s beautiful solo adaptation of Beethoven’s classic Fur Elise – For Jasmine creating an atmosphere of dreamy excellence in an absolute powerhouse display of his bluesy take on the neo-classical skill set. I only wonder if this is the same version I have a vague memory of him playing on tour with Keith LeBlanc and T.M. Stevens on the L.S.G. – Voodoo Chile Tour.
4. Hang on, Big brother, with Eric & Dug again sharing vocal duties has already been featured oncehere on metamusicftlom.com as the group released a video to the song. The song has a similar fast blues phrase ingredient as previous track Angels and Aliens but with a slightly funkier touch to this one.
5. Wishing Well is a dUg track, and could easily have made it to one of King’s X future albums if it hadn’t been on here. On this more metal/grunge influenced track dUg is providing lead vocals while Eric’s focus is on the shredding.
6. Hate Crime is also a dUg track, with more of blues feeling then the previous although still within a framework familiar to the King’s X fan base. And as the title implies the introspective lyrics are important to whole song. As usual “the Rev” dUg delivers it with his usual authority to the listeners.
7. Lascivious is again crossing over to the more metal oriented spectra of the blues, reminding me to some degree of songs such as Black Hole Sky by Soundgarden or perhaps a powerful Gene Simmons performance, not because of the blues-infused verses but from the very powerful chorus.
8. Next up is the haunting feeling from dUg’s creation Black Jeans. This track initially takes a step back to a slower blues intro, but already after the first verse explodes into what promises to become an epic tribute display to the legacy of Hendrix.
9. The following is a cover of Cream’s classic rock track Sunshine Of Your Love and this is a cover that has preserved the original rough, acid-drenched feeling from the late 60’s. Listening to it, it shows that the guys playing in this updated version are really enjoying tearing this song apart, making it their own for a couple of minutes.
10. Been So High (The Only Place To Go Is Down) is a classical Eric Gales type of the blues, again trading vocal duties with dUg, the song opens with a long 2 minute shredding intro by Eric to crash down into this heavy rocking blues’ song lyrics with the always usable blues clichés of love lost (?), to little sleep and unpaid rents. This is the longest track on the album, clocking in just short of ten and a half-minute.
11. Me And You is a more pop oriented tune with a catchy melody and a typical King’s X type of vocal harmony in the chorus. After half of the song Eric Gales takes over the song with a blistering solo, making good use of his wah-wah. This is the most repetitive song on the album, perhaps it would have benefited to have been cut down a minute or so?
12. The Greatest Love Is basically a very choppy Gales’s blues song using an echo effect. The song also has an additional jazzy feel to it. The song goes thru changes intensity when dUg enters into the repetitive chorus and Pridgen proves again he’s in full control of the events when the song as usual the song leads into an excellent Gales mid song solo.
13. The last song of the album Frightening is slow soulful dUg song with a scaled down 80’s ballad sting with empathic lyrics about intervention of self-destructive behaviour;
“What you do is your business.
But how can I ignore
When you’re passed out on the floor
What you’re going thru
What you’re going thru
Must be frightening
Must be frightening”.
The song picks up in intensity after the first chorus and solo passage and gets a more desperate blues rock touch as it goes along making it one of the strongest vocal performances on the album. It will sure be interesting to follow what will happen to these guys following this release. 2013 will be an exciting year, no doubt.
Before I end this review it might also be worth mentioning the album cover; as usual with Eric Gales’ productions an explotion of colours and psychedelic motives. This time around delivered by artist Ioannis (dangerousage.com) complemented by photos from Ross Pelton (rosspeltonphotography.net) – also familiar to Gales’ fans after previous album covers – making the tribute to the late 60’s era even more significant.
The album is available as physical copy from record company Magna Carta, or as downloads from iTunes and Amazon.
Buy it and enjoy it! / metamusicftlom.com