The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world








When I last spoke to Geoff on the eve of this year’s Rocklahoma he was still very much a part of Queensryche and also very much looking forward to the release of his solo album. So here we are – no more Queensryche (or rather two Queensryches) but at least we have his new album ‘King of Thieves’ to enjoy.



The obvious comparisons always come when singers (especially those with distinctive voices that have had long term bands) go it alone. The question is do they try and replicate past glories? Do the push further in the direction of their day band? Or do they just do what the hell they like?



On the first listen I’d have to say I’m not entirely sure which road Geoff took. This is certainly an album you would term ‘progressive rock’ but there are deft touches of varying hues on each of the tracks here. Opening track “She Slipped Away” is almost Queensryche does pop rock and it seems to just miss the mark; whereas “Take a Bullet” has a touch of funk and builds a groove that immediately grabs my interest.  Now this is far more interesting.




“In the Dirt” again has a certain groove to it, it’s like nothing I’ve quite heard before and let’s for now just call it ‘Prog-Groove’. I like it but I’m not quite sure why, there’s that relentless groove but it lacks a real build and despite a stab of rather nice guitar it doesn’t quite add enough of a lift to the song to make it truly memorable. So far though I’m impressed and hope that the possibilities open up as we get deeper.




I’m sad to say that there are a few embarrassments along the way though “Say U Luv It” aside from its clichéd spelling is almost as embarrassingly bad as some of the stuff Lita Ford came up with on her ‘Wicked Wonderland’ misstep. It’s almost like thinking of your parents having sex… Gladly it does end.  “The Way I Roll” is also a little embarrassing, I mean do people actually use that phrase any more? The light injection of rap sensibilities doesn’t quite pay off but the keys and sax do work and to be honest the song is at the very least interesting.




The rest of the album is equally intriguing but better and more fully realised.  Songs like Tomorrow” sound Queensryche-like but suffer from sounding more like ideas than fully-realised songs. “Evil” actually sounds like Bowie in an experimental phase and works quite well. More straightforward are songs like These Glory Days” which are just great simple and effective rock songs.  “Change” is the big sweeping slow number, Tate’s epic that does manage to hit that high and sweep you away. And with those two extremes you hear the highpoints of the album that is at times wonderful and at others sounds like it needs a few more licks of paint and a touch of quality control.




If this is a taster of what Tate might be capable of producing I want to hear more.




By Mark Diggins