Saturday 7 December 2013

Sun & Sail Club - Mannequin (Album Review)

Album Type :  Full Length
Date Released : 19/11/2013
Label : Satin Records Recordings

Mannequin, album track listing :

1). Lagrimas de Dios 00:28
2). Held Down 04:31
3). Whites Of Your Eyes 03:11
4). Gang Justice 03:26
5). It’s All Your Fault 04:17
6). La Muerte De Un Planeta  0:55
7). I’m Not Upside Down 02:52
8). Season In Hell 03:40
9). Inside The Machine
10). Hunted 04:30
11). La Risa De Satanas 01:47

The Band :

Bob Balch | Guitar, Vocoder Vocals
Scott Reeder | Drums
Scott Thomas Reeder | Bass, Vocals

Review :

Wow, what to say about this album by Sun and Sail Club, Mannequin. This group is comprised of Bob Balch on Guitar | Vocoder (Fu Manchu), Scott Reeder on Percussion (Fu Manchu) and Scott Reeder on Bass | Vocal (The Obsessed and Kyuss.)

First off this is a musical seminar on how to play guitar, drums and bass. This is a devastating 11 song compilation that will make you groove, thrash, stage dive and want to skateboard all within a poignant timeframe.  There are elements of Wes Montgomery, Slayer, Television, Pink Floyd and ELO all wrapped up in a musical bow. Also, it solidifies why Bob Balch is my favorite guitarist out there these days.
The album was recorded and engineered by Scott Reeder at his own Sanctuary Studio. J Robbins was at the helm for Mixing and Mastered by Dan Coutant.  Reeder, Reeder and Balch, (which would also be a great name of a law firm) have assembled an album that is unlike anything you have heard.  Sure, anytime you get 3 virtuosos together there can be butting of heads. This friends, is an album of pure respect for what each artist brings to the studio.

Even during the most kinetic riffing, there is still a sense of space and it is that space that I believe sets this album apart. Each instrument is full of life and can be heard meshing very elegantly with the others in a harmonious and melodic landscape.  Starting with the first song, Lagrimas de Dios, it is jazz in its purest form. Picture Bob wearing a suit, probably rocking an ascot for good measure, playing in front of an audience of heavy jazz hitters and they are totally on board with what he is doing. Ripping free form jazz that is so scrumptuous.
We march into the second tune, Held Down, with its Queen like intro, they had me at hello. The breakdown is rifftastic, you also get drumming and bass playing from hell. This tune knocks you out right off the blocks, bam. The percussive chugging on this tune is worthy of a Dave Grohl comparison, it is that good. Then, we got straight into Slayer vibe at the end. A spectacular ride of fury.  Therefore, you know the rest of the album is going to rip and rip off the hizak it does.  I could go thru each tune on the album but I will not, as this would be 35 pages long,  Because  there is so much goodness in this album, I could write eloquently for days.
So, I will pick out a few that literally made me chuckle like a little kid, waiting to take my first roller coaster ride, and then never wanting to get off.  On we go to song # 4, Gang Justice. The beginning riff on this is one that words would do no justice too. You need to listen for the grandiose vibe it will bring to your ears. The accenting Reeder is laying down on percussion is amazing. The bass playing of Reeder keeps this tune afloat with low end so heavy, you are listening in quick sand. Fans of Mastodon would absolutely get off on this tune. The chorus is true melody with its easy segue into harmony country. I can picture the 3 playing together, such a huge and cohesive blend of riff and roll.
Next is #5, It’s All Your Fault.  This is a drummers choice. Reeder shines as he pummels his set but with the utmost groove and sophistication. This song could be heard at a Modern Drummer Convention, the drums are so bad ass. Drummers if you need a tune to woodshed, this is a perfect choice. Followed by a smoky breakdown with Thin Lizzy harmonies. As I stated, there is such deliciousness on this album that it cannot be categorized into just one genre. Which leads me to my favorite jam on the album, I’m not Upside Down, #7.
Remember why got you into Pink Floyd and why you truly loved them, well these three deliver that cosmic vibe on this trip and kill it. Reeder’s vocals and playing are standout on this track. Everything cascades into one person, one being on this song. Funny, I had an eerie feeling that Jeff Buckley would have loved to have been asked to sing alongside Reeder on this. It is dark and yet uplifting all at the same time. This song made me ask myself, “How can I turn up the quiet.”
Ending the album is a true piece of jazz brilliance. In terms of smooth, if you were listening at a club and a waitress asked what you would like to drink, you would respond with, “ Martini and leave the olives on the side because they take up too much booze.” This tune also shows that these three are not playing the game of putting all one style of music into an album. They close with a jazz instrumental after an ass whooping and groove oriented song #10, Hunted.
In closing, if this album does not solidify these three as some of the most ferocious motherfuckers out there in rock, then the world is spinning on a convoluted axis. The only thing I can think of, in terms of virtuosity on this record for a three piece would be the Band of Gypsies.
If you love music, all different types and want an album that will take you through many emotions and mountains of the moon, get this album and truly let the journey begin.

Eat a peach,


Words by :  Marc Gaffney 

You can buy it here

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