Hair Metal Mansion correspondent DAWN OSBOURNE
checks in with the following:
Get ready for something different! One thing George Lynch has shown with his projects lately is that ultimately there needs to be a purpose, meaning and passion behind the music.
Integral to proper understanding of this album it the knowledge that the songs feature in a documentary filmed by George called Shadow Nation, which was recently premiered at the Jerome Film Festival and which George intends to release commercially at some point. There is a strong message behind the film which concentrates on the plight of the modern native american with an emphasis on a better way to live environmentally, compassionately and with a greater degree of personal freedom. Whilst the film pushes issues such as independence of first nation peoples, George is quick to point out that the anti-greed and exploitation message applies to all, everywhere and the lessons are about the human condition as a whole. With titles like Vulture and Currency of Lies, the message is up close and personal.
In addition, the work is a damn fine rock album in its own right. Shadowtrain is a double album made up of nine songs on each album, eighteen in total, making it incredible value as the album really is something special. The second record was actually recorded first and George explains that the first album was actually the more recently recorded set of songs and appears first as it is more representative of the sound of the band as it has evolved. Certainly, driving bass lines and George's soaring guitar features more prominently on the first nine songs which are heavier in feel. However, the unusual and striking combination of vibrato, falsetto native american singing techniques contributed by Gregg Analla (a renowned Pueblo artist in his own right) derived from traditional indigenous performance with a rock format means that the second album is not to be missed.
Highlights include 'Power and Resistance' with striking classical sounding guitar from George and infectious chorus 'gonna face your Judgement Day' on the first album. However, what marks this album out as a musical departure for us is the fabulous introduction of indigenous singing techniques into a rock context, for example on the second album in 'Fallen', 'World on Fire' and 'Prayer Mechanism and we do hope they continue should there be a follow up as they are rarer on the first album which was recorded later, but do still appear less obviously in 'White Clay' and 'Fight no More'.
For those allergic to nu metal there should perhaps be a warning that the album does contain passages of rap, but these were enjoyable and accessible to us and certainly did not affect our enjoyment of the album in any way. The beautiful guitar in the background, for example on 'White Clay' certainly sweetened the pill so we almost didn't notice we were listening to hard facts from the Wall Street Journal! George continues to surprise in a good way. Plus the album cover's the coolest we've seen this year! Impressed, yes we are!
Shadowtrain is out now via Rat Pak Records, click here
for more info & to purchase.