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

FLYING COLOURS

FLYING COLOURS

 

 

 

With this line-up of artists, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.  Discovering this release is on a jazz label was even more misleading.  It is jazz, but infused with some killer rock riffs, drums, and arena style vocals.  The rock components are there, but not enough to call it a rock record.  Other than solid musicianship, the real highlight in my mind is the vocals of Casey McPherson (of Alpha Rev).

 

 

"Blue Ocean" lets you know from the start, this isn't a rock super group, but rather rock musicians forming a jazz fusion super group.  "Shoulda Coulda Woulda" is the closest one of the songs that actually gets to be a rocker, with an all-out rock solo placed in the middle of a solid song.  This is one of my favorite songs on the disc.  "Kayla" is one of the smoothest songs on the disc; very melodic and ballad-like.  This song really shows Casey's vocals off.  It also really demonstrates the fine line between jazz-fusion and rock when the guitar solo straddles that same line.  "The Storm" is another song that might be well placed on an AOR album, but also fits well here in the jazz-rock fusion category.

 

 

"Forever In A Daze" is a lot like disc opener "Blue Ocean" in that there is no mistake this disc is more jazz driven.  The vocals, once again, keep a rock tone to the disc, but the musicianship is very tight and produces a quite good jazz groove.  "Love Is What I'm Waiting For" is that song that is good, but not seemingly good enough.  There is nothing that seems to grab me here.  "Everything Changes" has a good guitar line opening that lulls you into a good place.  The vocals are mellow and inviting, as is the guitar work.  This pattern is continued on "Better Than Walking Away."  The vocals and harmonies on this song help you to keep listening to the disc.

 

 

"All Falls Down" is a rocker that has a jazz beat to it, but let there be no mistake, Portnoy is behind the drum set and he is ready to unleash his metal beast on this jazz record.  This, along with "Shoulda Coulda Woulda" is one of my favorite songs.  "Fool In My Heart" is my favorite non-rocker on this disc.  It really drops the jazz and rock tags to allow itself to just be a good song that fits several genres and tastes.  "Infinite Fire" is a good disc closer… gives you a taste of what these guys can do as jazz musicians while reminding you they are rockers by origin and nature.  This song clocks in at over twelve minutes long, but is good nonetheless.

 

 

Not my normal fare, but as I get older and exposed to more bands and genres, I am not quite sure what my normal fare is anymore.  I wouldn't have known who these guys were, and probably wouldn't have run out to get it, as none of the individuals band contributions are among my favorite, but together, this works for me and makes me appreciate them as musicians… not just rock stars.  Thanks for expanding my horizon once again Steve.

 

 

 

 

By Todd Jolicoeur