Torture Tunes

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Put The Ramones, Queen and a little YES in a blender on “crush”, serve in a chilled glass and enjoy. This is what it feels like to listen to Bumblefoot’s new record, Little Brother Is Watching. The ninth installment of his solo career brings rich bass tones, melodic rhythms and leads, solid drumming and smooth vocals.

Bumblefoot has been out with the new Guns N’ Roses and has played those guitar parts with style all his own while keeping true to the structure of the original solos. Before that, he has put out original albums, singles and instructional videos. This well-seasoned musician molds his influences and puts them in the palm of your hand.

He opens with a delightful tune, “Clots” with an early New York style punk vibe and opera style backing vocals you would hear in songs by Queen. The title cut, “Little Brother Is Watching” takes on a more modern rock atmosphere that reminds me of Muse, only less Goth. The marching beat is catchy and by the time the solo hits, it’s too late. You are lost in the song and chanting right along. “Argentina” is a ride. It’s mellow, gets faster and intense but still maintains a steady tempo. It’s an easy song to get along with. Then weaving its way through the speakers like a 70s ballad is, “I Don’t Know Who to Pray to Anymore”. A song that we all can relate to in one way or another, the melody sucks you in while the words sink in for some soul searching.

“Living The Dream” again brings a classic rock vibe along with a splash of the Talking Heads. Now the circus comes to town in the giddy, macabre sounding, “Cuterebra”. Like the Beatles on steroids, “Higher” busts down the walls that you felt so safe behind. The intro to, “Women Rule the World” is like a sci-fi B-flick, the music and vocals capitalize on the theme; way out, man. Way out! The backing vocals in “Sleepwalking” seem to have been sung by someone who has inhaled too much helium, this only adds to the dream state of mind the song puts you in. The 50’s style ballad, “Eternity” sets the scene for you and that special someone to dance under the stars, complete with that good old fashioned guitar solo with the modern distortion for extra punch.

Little Brother Is Watching closes with gritty rhythms and conviction in the pop-punk-with-a-twist-of-hard rock tune, “Never Again”. This anthem will have you carrying on and fighting to keep your dreams alive. Downside is, “Why the heck haven’t I gotten into his solo stuff before?!”

Upside is pretty much tracks 1-11. This record has all you need; solid songwriting, fresh sounding solos, intense vocals, BASS, and kick-in-the-head drumming. What more could you ask for? Sure you can ask for faster, harder grinding tunes, but that would take the fun out. This record is fun and explorative, experimental and self explanatory. Well deserving of the big 10.

Check him out at and get stuff there as well. While there, read the humble Bumblefoot Bio. It makes you appreciate more of the artist than the guitarist.

Tim Duran, HMS

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