Bumblefoot – Little Brother Is Watching – Bumblefoot Music – Release: Out Now.
Ronald Jay “Ron” Blumenthal (born September 25, 1969), better known by his stage name Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, is an American guitarist, songwriter, recording artist and producer. He played guitar on several albums by artists such as Jordan Rudess, Destrage, Mistheria and Tony Harnell. He did some vocals and played the fretless guitar on Freak Kitchen’s cracker “Speak When Spoken To”. He can even be heard on a single from Jessica Simpson! He already put out several solo albums, but is best known as the co-lead guitarist from Guns N’ Roses. I never heard any of his own songs, so I was quite curious about this album!
Dennis Leeflang – drums
A whole bunch of people – backing vocals
All other things – Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal
LITTLE BROTHER IS WATCHING
“Clots” kicks off with a short repetitive riff, some bass and subtle sounds. But the track evolves into a more punky-sleazy rocker. The layered chorus reminds me of Queen and good old glam rock bands such as MUD, Slade, etc… This is a real musical rollercoaster and I’m particularly fond of those odd combinations. The furious guitar solo makes my jaw drop and a small puddle of drool falls on the floor!
The ‘hey-hey-hey’s at the start of the title track prepare you for a real arena rocker. But looks can be deceiving and the track goes on with some Zappa inspired piece, with obvious Beatles bits! Ron has a vocal tone that miraculously is the best marriage with this musical extravaganza.
“Argentina” brings us a cello (?) in combination with high pitch vocals. It may sound strange, but I hear some Muse connections as well. Or is my musical mind playing tricks with me? Every song has many unexpected twists and turns and that’s just what makes them so addictive! And the many different solo spots sound like heaven on earth every time.
“Livin’ The Dream” is a more radio rock track. The bass is pumping like the Peppers and Faith No More used to do! The chorus is extremely catchy and the fret board solo gives me goosebumbs.
“Cuterebra” is a creepy sounding track! It shows what odd sounds a guitar can produce. In the middle section the solo turns it all around and the tempo of the riffs goes up to almost insanity!
“Higher” holds some wonderful semi-acoustic stuff at the start. But we get a full electric attack after 55 seconds!
Ron has a nice sense of humor and this can be heard on “Women Rule The World”. He injects it with some funny sounds and the lyrics are simply great.
“Sleepwalking” harbours some simple, but oh so effective riffs. This track is the perfect example of the fact that Ron is an excellent songwriter. It doesn’t have to be complex and extremely technical all the time to sound great.
A more sensitive singing Ron can be heard at the start of “Eternity”. Even his guitar sounds very emotional!
The album closer “Never Again” boosts up the energy level and gives the album a rocking finish!
This album was a pleasant surprise for me. Guitar lovers will feast on this one! Bumblefoot’s guitar skills are extraterrestrial, but he never lets the guitar take over the song. The songs are very diverse and you’ll discover something new with every listen! Ron shows here without a shadow of a doubt that he’s a superb songwriter.
He sure did light my fire on this album and big brother has won this battle!
- Little Brother Is Watching
- Don’t Know Who To Pray To Anymore
- Livin’ The Dream
- Women Rule The World
- Never Again
Score: 4,5 out of 5
Written by Rik Bauters