Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Monster Jams: Ultraphonix - Original Human Music (released 8/3/2018)

Monster Jams: Ultraphonix - Original Human Music (released 8/3/2018)

A killer surprise, Ultraphonix's Original Human Music is a stellar album that may be the best rock album to hit my radar in 2018.  Heavy on variety, the album offers up some dope rock that leans toward metal, some funky jams, a soulful ballad or two, and frequent splashes of jazz and blues to keep things popping.  It never misses, and as so-called "supergroups" go, singer Corey Graves (Living Colour), guitarist George Lynch (Dokken), bassist Pancho Tomaselli (War, Philm), and drummer Chris Moore (Cry Wolf, Damage, DeathRiders), deftly intertwine their respective talents to produce something new and distinct.  While their efforts do conjure their greatest strengths, the end result isn't a nod to any of the performer's bands and certainly seeks to cover new ground.  This is a key element of the album's success, and it is impressive that the band is able to take an experimental approach to much of the material without sacrificing intensity or cohesion in the process.  Everyone has brought their A game, and everyone has their moment to shine, though Graves occassionally dominates the proceedings with his range and passion.  Though he may not enjoy the same fanfare as Lynch, Tomaselli surely holds his own on bass, and while George shreds all over the place in blistering displays of talent and vision, Pancho provides Ultraphonix with a lively heartbeat and several deft flourishes of his own.  Moore's work here is a bit more deliberate and less showy, but his steady hand is a key element of the band's ability to cover so much territory without getting lost in the wilderness.  Standout tracks include "Walk Run Crawl," "Free," "Wasteland," and "Take a Stand," but you won't find a bad cut on this gnarly recording.  Highly recommended!

Final Grade: A+

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