Thursday, July 29, 2004

Village Gorilla Head

Finally! The new Tommy Stinson solo album, Village Gorilla Head is officially out. Tommy was the bass player for the Replacements way back when, touring with the band started at age 14.

Clearly the world is weary of waiting for ‘Chinese Democracy’, the long overdue and almost mythical ‘Guns N’ Roses’ album. Clearly the public aren’t the only ones growing impatient as the band’s current bass player has gone off and recorded his own solo album called ‘Village Gorilla Head’. In fact ‘solo’ is a particularly apt word here as Stinson takes on all manner of musical duties, supplying the majority of his own backing vocals, bass, six-string guitar, keyboards and even drums on one track! The big question is of course does Axl but in a guest appearance? The answer is of course ‘No’ there’d be more chance of Elvis turning up to lend a hand, however Dizzy Read and Richard Fortus do turn up and help plug musical gaps here and there.

The sound of ‘Couldn’t Wait’ hints that the album was recorded in Frank Black’s studio, but most of the other tracks are more linear and traditional fare. All the songs here are incredibly catchy and sharp; and there are no weak songs on the album. ‘OK’ is a particularly strong track, it has an innocence provided by the chorus of child like voices that perfectly compliments Stinson’s vocals.

The album is full of contrasting tracks; ‘Hey You’ is a raw gritty ballad, whilst ‘Motivation’ is a full throttle belter of a rock track. Elsewhere there’s a slightly bluesier feel on ‘Bite Your Tongue’ whilst ‘Light of Day’ feels as though it belongs on the soundtrack of a modern day western. ‘

The shame is that at least half of these songs would be perfect if delivered by ‘Axl Rose’ and clearly the Guns N’ Roses front man has a very talented band mate, who on the evidence of ‘Village Gorilla Head’, could clearly help make his band a force to be reckoned with once more. So a word of note to Mr Rose, please listen to your band mates album, it should at the very least inspire you, and if not then ask him if you can re-record some of these tracks, add a little of your trade mark vocal excesses and you should have a world class album that will restore you to your former glories.

That's Right, we know that ain't gonna happen - Rock on Tommy!

Thanks to Greg Thomas at Rock-City UK