Solo Album

Solo Album Spotlight: Dale Crover- The Fickle Finger of Fate

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Solo albums can be tricky at times. People expect you to do something similar to the band you are already a part of, and the expectations are often very high. That is a huge conundrum for singers but, when other members branch out and try something else, the results are often quite interesting. Dale Crover, drummer for the legendary and very influential band The Melvins, has released a solo album that is a sharp left turn away from his norm. The Fickle Finger of Fate, the first ever solo album from Crover, is full of interesting melodies and tinges of the late 60’s and early 70’s rock. There is a sheer excitment that comes over the listener as the album rolls on. This solo effort really shows how integral Dale is to The Melvins and all the other bands he’s been a part of.

Dale is one of the most underrated drummers/musicians of the last 30 years. This solo album is an extension of what fans of his already know. He’s made an album that allows him to show another side of his personality and abilities. I for one welcome the change of pace from his “day job.” The elements of pop, psychedelia, experimental, and rock really go deep into the psyche of Dale. Songs like “Bad Move,” “Little Brother,” and “Hillbilly Math,” are great examples of the depth of the album.

 

Bad Move:


Little Brother:


Hillbilly Math:

 

Solo Album Spotlight: Jerry Cantrell- Degradation Trip

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Ever since I started Audioeclectica, I’ve constantly been thinking of different topic ideas to add to the fun. One that I’ve been thinking about a lot as of late is a spotlight on solo albums. There are so many out there and certain ones really deserve to be given their proper due. Solo albums are tricky to pull off. A lot of the time the solo album tends to fall flat or sound too similar to the artists main band.

Back in 2002 following the passing of Layne Staley, Jerry Cantrell was readying a new solo album. The album was recorded before Layne had passed but, was dedicated to him when the album was released two months later. The album I’m speaking of is Degradation Trip. This opus is truly a remarkable album. The story behind it is pretty interesting too.  To quote Jerry, “In ’98, I locked myself in my house, went out of my mind, and wrote 25 songs. I rarely bathed during that period of writing; I sent out for food; I didn’t really venture out of my house in three or four months. It was a hell of an experience.” Something else that makes Degradation Trip a stand out solo album is Jerry using a different backing band, enlisting the help  Mike Bordin (Faith No More, ex- Ozzy Osbourne) on drums and Robert Trujillo (Metallica, ex- Ozzy Osbourne. Another intriguing tidbit about this album is that while making it, Jerry would be left without a label and a slew of studio bills. Jerry would go on to mortgage his home to continue on making this record. Upon completion, Jerry would sign a new deal with Roadrunner Records. After the signing, the label had asked for the album to be condensed from 25 songs to 14, but promised it would release the other songs at some point. Which explains why there are two different versions of Degradation Trip.

Jerry Cantrell is one hell of a songwriter and on this album he really carves his own niche. While the material on this album has many similarities to Alice In Chains, there is a purity to it that makes this a memorable and artistic triumph. Songs like “Psychotic Break,” “Owned,” “Angel Eyes,” “Solitude,” “Hellbound,” “Gone,” “Castaway,” She Was My Girl,” “Anger Rising” and “Thanks Anyway” are among my favorites on the album. The guitar work on all throughout the album is masterful. Not only are Jerry’s riff skills impressive, his use of melody is what really separates him from the pack. Always one to write deep and introspective words, Jerry doesn’t stray from that on this album. In fact I find these songs to be some of the most poetic songs he’s written since Dirt.

Jerry Cantrell really comes through on delivering a true solo album. This album deserves to be regarded and given the proper accolades it deserves. It’s not easy to go out on your own especially when you are part of something as special as Alice In Chains but, Jerry did it with grace and artistry. Check out Degradation Trip and let the music consume you.

 

Jerry Cantrell- Degradation Trip Volumes I & II:

 

Anger Rising Video:

You Might Have Missed: Iommi

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Finally in 2000 after nearly 5 years in the making, Tony Iommi released the be all end all of solo albums featuring guest vocalists. All of the songs on the album were written by Tony Iommi, producer Bob Marlette and each of the vocalists that appear on the songs.The album features Phil Anselmo, Dave Grohl, Henry Rollins, Billy Corgan, Serj Tankian, Billy Idol, Ian Astbury, Peter Steele, Skin, and Ozzy. According to Tony Iommi, he and Phil Anselmo had recorded three tracks together for the album, but only one was put onto the album. Phil had later on said that there was a chance that they might have done a full album had time permitted amongst other things. The album peaked at number 129 on the Billboard charts and its only single released, “Goodbye Lament” featuring Dave Grohl reached number 10 on the Mainstream Rock Chart. This album is quite a remarkable album, as it shows what Tony Iommi’s playing sounds like with different types of singers. Slash tried to do something similar with his first “solo” album, but to me he failed miserably mainly because he is overrated and picked the wrong people to have on his album. Tony Iommi is a true legend and master of his craft, and this album is a testament to his legacy

 

Iommi- Album:

 

Tony Iommi and Phil Anselmo- Invasion Of The Saviours:

 

By: Brian Lacy