Old school fan here......heading down to Atlanta with my band to catch the Spyz (three hour drive) on Tuesday. First show in 9 years....very excited!
First of all, let me say to Jimi or whoever is in charge of shipping the CDs....excellent service!!! I ordered my CD on Monday and recieved it in the mail TWO DAYS LATER!
So I've digested the new Spyz album and, of course, it kicks complete booty. I'm going to give an honest review, positive and negative, because I'm sure Sepia XL would want an honest take on the disc instead of a candy-coated one! So here goes...
Much more cohesive sound than previous Spyz albums. There is a flow and a theme unheard on other discs with the exception of Strength in Numbers
. The other discs, although amazing, sound like you're changing the radio station from one channel to another. That diversity is part of the Spyz's beauty of course, but a nice flowing thematic CD is always a plus.
Good to see the return of SKA on the new disc! I guess "Running" is the first ska tune since "Culo Posse" to appear on a Spyz disc (with the exception of the finale section of "Understanding" and the B section of "I'm Not Going").
I was familiar with all of the 21stCenturySouthBronxRockstar
tunes, and I'm happy to see that the absolute BEST tunes from that album were brought over to Face the Day
. They finally sound complete! Not that the solo album is bad or anything, but Jimi isn't Jimi without Rick, and Rick isn't Rick without Jimi, and the first two people to admit that would be Jimi and Rick!
"Waiting for the Sun" and "Soul Sucker" are absolute Spyz classics. And "Unknown Wellknown," which acts as the "Tick, Tick, Tick" or "Spyz in Da House" of the disc, is hilarious. Hearing the band say each other's names and instruments in "Tick, Tick, Tick" is funny enough, but I cracked up hearing them name all of their albums! And I mean funny in a good way......I was all smiles.
"Blues for Dimebag" is exactly what Darrell would want....not some sappy funeral dirge, but a smoking shred-fest! Good work from Bumblefoot on this one too.
The R&B section of the disc ("Faithless," "Saturday Song," and "Angel") is a little short (I'm a HUGE fan of mellow Spyz) but is excellent, with "Faithless" being the highlight of the three and one of the main highlights of the entire album.
SICK drumwork from Tobias during his fill sections in the Thin Lizzy cover "Bad Reputation." I also like how Jimi did the "twin lead" guitar with Bumblefoot on that tune. Jimi knows his shit and realizes you can't do a Thin Lizzy tune without dual harmonizing guitars!
Performance-wise, I have NEVER heard anyone tackle "Stand!" quite like this. Amazing version. EXCELLENT vocals in the chorus. This is NOT an easy song to play. Phish played it for a while in 1997 and butchered the hell out of it so they deleted in from their rotation. Probably the greatest Spyz cover in the band's history, narrowly beating out "Along Comes Mary" and "Peace & Love."
I must admit I was extremely disappointed when I saw the credits and realized there was NO RICK SKATORE SONGWRITING CONTRIBUTIONS WHATSOEVER!?!?
. In that respect, it's really the only thing that keeps this disc from completely 100% satisfying my Spyz cravings. He's written some of the greatest Spyz songs ever and his creative contributions, the yin to Jimi's yang, are sorely missed. What is the story there? Did he have other projects going on or was he just not feeling the songwriting vibe this time out?
Not enough clean guitar R&B tunes for my taste but that's just a personal opinion. I love when they mellow out for long periods of time like they did on Heavy Metal Soul By the Pound
and I'm hoping that they're finally to the point where they can replicate some of those songs in concert.
That's it! Overall a fantastic Spyz album. But aren't they all?
See you fuggers on Tuesday!!! Reward my six hour round trip with a blazing "Outta Mind, Outta Time"!!