GRAHAM BONNET BAND - Meanwhile, Back In The Garage

October 3, 2018, 2 months ago

(Frontiers)

Mark Gromen

Rating: 8.0

review hard rock graham bonnet band

GRAHAM BONNET BAND - Meanwhile, Back In The Garage

The short-lived voice of Rainbow, MSG and Impellitteri (as well as his own Alcatrazz, with Yngwie Malmsteen & Steve Vai) Graham Bonnet has assembled a new line-up, again featuring some high profile talent. Joey Tafolla is best known as original Jag Panzer guitarist (recently returned to the Colorado fold as well). While Jimmy Waldo is best known for his late ‘70s stint on keys, with New England, here he's reuniting with his Alcatrazz band leader. Needless to say, these two are featured prominently on the baker's dozen studio tracks. There's also a bonus DVD, of live material from Daryl's House (a cable TV program in the States, with artists playing at Daryl Hall's. of Hall & Oates fame, home studio). A live rendition of "Starcarr Lane" (from the Alcatrazz debut) is tacked on to the end of the running order.

From the opening title track, Bonnet pulls no punches, lyrically. Guess at his age (amazingly to be 71 by year's end), doesn't care about bruising egos. Said title cut takes a swipe at the mentality of young bands these days, in it for all the wrong reasons, as the keys and guitar trade leads. "Living In Suspicion" talks about how fragmented the world/relationships are, without trust/love. Guitar driven "Incest Outcest USA" is a provocative title, bemoaning the ideology of too many of my countrymen: ignorance begets ignorance. "America...Where Have You Gone" turns its guns (pun intended) on the US deadly obsession with firearms, be it school violence, police shootings, etc. "Long Island Tea" relates how Bonnet's opinion changed when he and his woman were the victims of racial discrimination, as whites trying to get a drink at a black bar. 

Not sure how Tina Turner's 1985 soundtrack to the third Mad Max movie, "We Don't Need Another Hero" fits into Bonnet's mindset these days, but it's here. Eastern acoustic rhythms introduce "Heading Towards The Light" and remain an undercurrent throughout. Seems Bonnet is at least contemplating death, adding "Sorry man, I don't get it. All this stuff, overly bullshit Yes it is. I think it is. Yes, yes it is... How can you tell me there's life after this?" On a similar tip, there' "Past Lives", Bonnet wondering aloud about reincarnation, backed by aggressive riffing. Thankfully, the multi-voice choir of "The Crying Chair" is left till the end, a music box melody running beneath the mournful Beatlesque ballad. Thankfully, Graham hasn't mellowed with age!


Featured Audio

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RED DRAGON CARTEL – “Crooked Man” (Frontiers)

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SOUNDSCAPE Premieres “Paradox”

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