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| 7 January 2017 | Reply

Label: Rat Pak Records

Release Date: November 25, 2016

Rating: 8.5/10

Reviewed by: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Chuck Garric has stalked stages across the globe as bassist for Alice Cooper, but 2016 finds him once again stepping out from behind his 4-string, picking up a 6-string and jumping behind a microphone on the self-titled sophomore disc from his project Beasto Blanco.  Disc opener “Buried Angels” kicks off with a cool riff that builds quickly and gains momentum when the industrial-like groove grabs hold of the melody.  The vocals are heavy and what you might expect from Garric and are perfectly contrasted by Calico Cooper’s vocal contributions.  “Grind” has a cool feel that blends a chugging riff with a heavy bottom end.  The song is an extension of the first track and helps establish a pattern of what is to come on this twelve song collection.  “Carcosa” is a cool track that leans into territory normally occupied by Rob Zombie, but this has a great bottom end and bass line that anchors the track while the guitars add punch.  The vocals are perfect for the vibe of this track.  “Dark Matter” is a different track than most on the disc, but in this case different is good.  The feel of the song subdued and strong at the same time, thanks to the vocals Garric throws over the music.  The beauty of this song is its simple approach that allows the lyrics to stand on their own without Chris Latham’s crunching guitars or thunderous rhythm section, which kick in at the bridge.  “Machine Girl” showcases Calico’s vocals on top of the tandem guitars of Garric and Latham.  The song has an industrial flare that marries with a classic hard rock groove, culminating in a rock track that demonstrates how well these “guys” have grown as writers and a band.  Disc closer “Damnation” is as different from the other tracks as it is similar.  The vocals are what we have become accustomed to over the last 40+ minutes, but the guitars bring a slightly different sound to the mix.  The bass is heavy handed and the drumming is solid and simple, keeping this song in line with the other tunes here.  Be sure to listen for the cool mini solos throughout this track.

“Feed My Frankenstein” is a killer cover of the Alice Cooper track from 1991.  The lead vocals are handled mightily by Ms. Cooper while Garric adds texture to the vocal blend.  Getting this slightly different perspective from someone that has played this song for years is eye opening and fun.  “Death Rattle” is a heavy track that benefits from Garric’s bass prowess from a writing perspective and perfectly played by Jan LeGrow.  The chorus is punchy and contagious while the tempo gets the foot tapping and head banging.  This is one of my favorite tracks on the disc.  The spoken piece “Sadhana” lulls you into a false sense of security that shifts gears when “I Rise” joins the party.  This chugging track is another track that stands out from the fun riffs and solos and full-throated vocals to the time-keeping of Tim Husung’s drums.  This song grabs you and takes you on a fun ride that does let up for one second.  “Honey” unfolds and delivers another track that allows the vocals to jump on top of a great guitar riff and rhythm section.  The chorus has a wall of sound feel to it that draws you in and keeps your attention.  “Blind Drive” opens with a solid rock riff wrapped around drums that keep the song from running out of control.  The lead and background vocals complement each other while the guitars and bass work in tandem to keep the song moving.  I cannot wait to hear some of these tracks live… if we could only get Beasto Blanco to do a proper tour behind this disc.

Tracklisting: Buried Angels – Grind – Feed My Frankenstein – Carcosa – Death Rattle – Dark Matter – Sadhana – I Rise – Machine Girl – Honey – Blind Drive – Damnation






Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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