An odd mix of heavy Blues Rock, with a splash of The Doors, a little Punk, and a few other influences thrown in for good measure.
Once upon a time, Rock bands rarely owned up to their formative years, or even their guilty pleasures, but over the years it has become "de rigueur" to do so; it's therefore no real surprise to find Godsmack members, Shannon Larkin and Tony Rombola doing just that.
This self-titled album is an odd mix of heavy Blues Rock, with a splash of The Doors, a little Punk, and a few other influences thrown in for good measure. It starts off traditionally enough, with 'Evil Is As Evil Does', the familiar Blues and the devil scenario, and a chance to show their Blues credentials. The Blues does have a formula and it's not easy for anyone to put their own stamp on a song whilst at the same time keeping the components that make it Blues, and this is a case in point. The original Blues men wrote about what they knew and experienced, but modern Blues that include those elements sound formulaic, and this song suffers from that.
'The Devil Plays A Strat' (in all honesty more than likely) but again it comes across as a pastiche of all the "why should the devil have all the good music" songs rolled into one. Probably my favourite song on the album is 'The Tower', guest vocalist Ray Cerbone's style suits the song and it has a heavy groove. For me, it was the most original track on the album.
The idea of a side project is to do what you want and to get the opportunity to play with other people you admire outside of your main band, but in this case I found the two distinctive vocal styles made for a slightly disjointed album. I wandered out of the room a couple of times and when I came back, I thought I'd moved on to another album. I love the idea of the project and was excited to listen to it, as I have a lot of time for Godsmack, but they need more time to gel as a band and to develop their own Blues style.
I think this is entirely possible; the foundation is there, but I suspect we may need to wait for them to reach a third album before they fully get in to their stride.
Helen Bradley Owers