with Billy Joel and Blue Oyster Cult. Renegade Creation's four artists may possesses a broader jazz vernacular, but it's all in service of the grit and grease of an unequivocal rock record, from the Bo Diddley
) than his own, relatively diminutive discography as a leader, guitarist Michael Landau's Live (Tone Center, 2006) was a potent mix of hard-edged blues-rock and even more pyrotechnic fusion. With his bigger name as a leader, guitarist Robben Ford
, last heard on 3D (Tone Center, 2004)will find plenty to like with Renegade Creation's rockier disposition, though the emphasis here is on songs, with Ford and Landau splitting lead vocal duties on eight of its eleven original tracks. Landau possesses a hint of Mark Knopfler's lazy delivery, especially on "Where the Wind Blows," while Ford's cleaner voice and more melodic deliverynot one of his strongest points in his early days, but strengthening with agehas rarely sounded better.
Both guitarists combine pure rock 'n roll cred with greater sophistication, proving the two can coexist on tracks like Ford's "Soft in Black Jeans," where overdriven, Hendrix-ian guitars mesh with shimmering acoustics and a hint of indie rock, all with a series of chord voicings far beyond power chords and simplistic harmonies. Renegade Creation largely focuses on Landau and Ford's solo prowess and tasty tones, but when Haslip solosas he does with frightening Mu-Tron'd speed on the powerful closing instrumental "Brothers," bolstered by Novak's thundering tomsit becomes an instant highlight.
High octane, and unapologetic in its raw, blues-centric rock stance, Renegade Creation couldn't have been made by anyone but musicians who possess broader backgrounds. But there's nothing but street cred in this exhilarating debut, from a group whose live performances will, no doubt, be absolutely incendiary.
Track Listing: What's Up; Soft in Black Jeans; God and Rock 'n Roll; The Darkness; Renegade Destruction; Peace Intro; Peace; Who Do You Think You Are; Where the Wind Blows; Brothers.
Personnel: Michael Landau: guitars, lead vocals (1, 3, 6, 10); Robben Ford: guitars, lead vocals (2, 4, 5, 9); Jimmy Haslip: bass guitars; Gary Novak: drums, bass (11); Dustin Boyer: background vocals, vocal (3).