Thursday, April 1, 2010

Guilty Pleasure? Or Not?

Ok, let's start with this;

I am not a Creed fan. I don't hate them, but I rarely think of them as anything but the 90's band that paved the way for Nickleback.


Now, of course, when Scott Stapp went buggo, or started to believe he was Jesus, or went on the wacky weed, or whatever the hell happened to him, the rest of the band needed something to do. So, they found this new vocalist, Myles Kennedy, and formed Alter Bridge. I didn't think much of this at the time, I heard a couple of tracks off their first record, and thought Kennedy had a pretty good voice, but they pretty much sounded like Creed without Stapp's Jesus fixation. Life went on, and I didn't go out of my way about Alter Bridge.

Then there was a weird sea change. I started hearing about this Myles Kennedy everywhere.

When Robert Plant decided a full Led Zeppelin reunion tour was not something he wanted to do (Good move, Robert. I'd have HAD to go, but I just know it would've felt like a letdown), Page, Jones and Bonham were looking for another singer for a new project (The mainstream press never really caught on that it was NOT going to be called Led Zeppelin), and among other legendary vocalists, like Steven Tyler, this Myles Kennedy was supposedly one of the most impressive auditions...

Now Slash is putting out a solo album next week, and, in addition to singing two tracks, along with, again, legendary vocalists like Ozzy Osbourne, Chris Cornell and Lemmy, Kennedy is going to be the vocalist for Slash's touring band.

A lot of people who could, in essence, play with anyone they wanted, were looking at this kid.

So I started sniffing around reviews of the Alter Bridge albums. The first record was pretty well dismissed, but I kept coming across pretty excellent reviews of their second disk, Blackbird.

So, I looked it up, listened to the song previews over on amazon, and found myself thinking, "This doesn't sound bad, and I do like that kid's voice." So, what the hell, I downloaded it.

I'm really digging it. I mean, it's not gonna change the world, by any means, and it's pretty mainstream hard rock. Hell, so was Journey, and they're pretty awesome. I know the hipsters, and music snobs, out there are laughing up their sleeves at me, that's fine.

What it comes down to is that Kennedy has a type of voice I really like, and guitarist Mark Tremonti seems unleashed from the past. He's really quite good, very reminiscent of Zakk Wylde, of Black Label Society and The Ozzy Osbourne Band fame, who happens to be one of my favorite hard rock players. (yep, pinch harmonics come into play)

Long story short, I like this record. I don't know if I can recommend it to others because I'm highly aware that it's not breaking any new ground, at all. It's a well-made, highly competent mainstream rock album, made by a talented group of people.

But I do dig Kennedy's voice, a lot.


  1. Nothing wrong here. Move along, cynics.

    Good writing, sir, as usual.

  2. a co-worker of mine burned a copy of both Blackbird and the debut of Alter Bridge. I listened to it while working out and Wow did it get me pumped up! Not bad at all!