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Die A Tribe: Albatross

AAJ Staff By

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Die A Tribe throws down a cutting-edge cool, jazzy-rock fusion, alternafunked, you-can-dance-to-it, (sometimes), but always a cerebral groove. This is one of the finer blends of many genres, crossing over effortlessly back and forth — staying tight instrumentally, everywhere the laser strobes. I hear Allan Holdsworthian, Scott McGill-ish soaring and blue-white hot guitar leads, bridges, and fills. Bass work is right up there with the likes of Jeff Berlin or old Sting. I mention the Police here because the changeups and rhythms call to mind Bruford's Feels Good To Me or the peppy bounce of Sting, Summers, and Copeland on Ghost In the Machine. Is the drumming right on the money and diverse enuff? You betcha! Todd Taylor is solid on keeping the rhythms afire. These guys wail and jam like mutant hybrids of some occultic, fusion gene pool. I go on now to the bigger surprise. This paragraph was merely the teaser.

Up comes Ginny Simmons to the mike and then you really are blown away. Out flows the forceful grace of Laura Martin of Finneus Gauge, the sultry, passion-fired croonings of The Pretenders' Chrissie Hynde, and even the bombastic, speak-sing of Annette Peacock of Bruford. Simmons truly explodes on "Fear". Guitarist, Ted Tuck, and bassist Jonathan Peek both sing well, (hear them on "Tribal Spirit" and "We Don't See"), but the power and glory is Simmons. She lures you in, wraps the song around you, and just makes it all uniquely click. An undercurrent of angst and introspection threads heady lyrics which thankfully avoid the trap of other bands' empty-headed songs. Here's another semi-obscure reference for folks out there to get oriented — Band of Susans. Die A Tribe goes light years beyond that band's compositions and redundant, wall-of-feedback-noise guitars. Both however, display the effective female lead/ male backup vocal parallels.

So much is so very wonderful about this polished group. They know their instruments, all the tricks, effects, voicings, and are precise on time signatures. Harmonies are strong, compositions interesting, and flowing. Everyone has plenty of room to stretch and Simmons doesn't sing all the time. The instrumental portions versus vocals are balanced just right. Thirteen songs are offered that never fail to surprise, entertain, and melt you away — right into the places where great jazz fusion and solid rock from the heart shine forever— far, far beyond the pale ghosts of mainstream. Highest recommendations. ~ John W. Patterson


Track Listing:

  1. The Sound Scary
  2. Choke
  3. Ostrich
  4. Foreshadow
  5. Neurotic Heart
  6. Huck Friend
  7. Tribal Spirit
  8. We Don't See
  9. Thicker
  10. Gravity
  11. Mighty Simba
  12. Fear
  13. Love's Majestic Promise


Die A Tribe: Albatross (CD, 63:18); Contribed Records release, 1997
Contact: Moonchild Artists
2636 17th Avenue, Box 188
Santa Cruz, CA 95065 USA
E-mail: mooch1@ix.netcom.com or "Lance Huthwaite"
Cyberhome: www.moonchildartists.com/tribe/tribe.shtml

Personnel:

  • Ginny Simmons- vocals
  • Jonathan Peek- Bass and vocals
  • Ted Tuck- Guitar and vocals
  • Todd Taylor- Drums and percussion


Title: Albatross | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: Contribed Records


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