The Company Band
posted on 11/2009 By:
The Company Band is an aptly-named little project. Featuring Neil Fallon of Clutch on vocals, Rev. James Rota of Fireball Ministry and Dave Bone on guitar, Jess Margera of CKY on drums, and Fu Manchu bassist Brad Davis, the band is an all-star collaboration of hard rock and stoner metal’s blue collar best. Supergroup you say? No way in hell. This is just five drinkin’ buddies playing ball-busting hard rock the way they know best. With equal inspiration from the source bands (except for CKY), this self-titled effort is ten songs of stoner-boogie, blues-based hard rock, and should easily please fans of the band members, and in much more than typical side project fashion. It more than delivers on the promise of their debut EP, Sign Here, Here and Here, and is a helluva fun way to start rounding out 2009.
“Zombie Barricades” lets the listener know from the first second that they’re in for a serious bounty of rock. There is no secret to what these boys are doing here. It’s verse-chorus-verse rawk-n-roll with shitloads of meaty-yet-simple riffs, driving (and occasionally deft) drumming, and Fallon’s signature vocal delivery. Speaking of Fallon, he is the undisputed star of this show, even more so than he normally is in Clutch, due in large part to the devilishly infectious choruses strewn throughout The Company Band. Each is punctuated by his undisputed charisma and goofball-genius lyrics (of which “Hot Topic Woman” is particularly hilarious). From the Fu groove of “It’s A Confusing World” and Clutch quirk riffs of “Djinn and Pentatonic” to the softer, very bluesy “All’s Well in Milton Keynes,” the album actually has a fair amount of variety. The latter is even enhanced by a touch of Allmanesque slide guitar and some moody drumwork from Margera. Immediately following is the much heavier (and, again, ludicrously catchy) “Who Else But Us?” The production is on the warmer side of amp sounds, and nicely reveals the nuances of each (slight) style variation.
Pointing out highlights on such a complete album is essentially pointless, as each fan will have their own favorites. So in the interest of just talking about a couple more great songs, I’ll offer my own. First, “CD&W” is a shuffle-crazy blast with the most sing-along chorus of them all (really conjures some Blast Tyrant), and even a touch of space rock during the bridge. In a just world, this would have limitless rotation on rock radio (alas, it is not a just world). Second, “Lethe Waters” is the emotional highlight of the album, again showing off the power of Fallon, and ending the album with a slightly darker, yet equally drinkable, mood.
This album just demands the inclusion of brews and buddies. Call it “tailgate metal” if you want, best mixed with equal parts bratwurst and pale ale. The Company Band are certainly doing their best to help us forget how shitty the weather outside is getting. In a year already featuring great albums by Clutch, Fu Manchu, and Bible of the Devil, The Company Band is yet another quality slab of metal and rock’s have-a-blast side. So kick back, grab a cold one, and allow yourself about 40 minutes to forget about the world’s problems, you’ve worked hard to deserve it.
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