“There’s nothing wrong with a good guitar solo, but we’ll take an interesting riff over a solo anytime,” says Pearls And Brass guitarist Randy Huth. Huth and his cohorts don’t eschew solos all together, but their main focus is definitely on loping, blues-inspired heaviness, à la a modern day—and much trippier—Mountain or Cream.
“Our riffs are a little more ‘out there’ than the typical blues/rock fare,” Huth explains. “Inevitably, I’ll play some weird notes, and, as a band, we have a tendency to stretch those phrases over several bars—but not to where it’s some kind of weirdo prog-rock that you can’t groove to.”
Amongst The Indian Tower’s stoney, sledgehammer sound, are two acoustic tracks on which Huth abandons his Gibson SG and Marshall JCM800 in favor of some open-tuned, fingerstyle forays.
“I grew up in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, and my grandfather worked in the Martin guitar factory there,” he says. “He made himself a guitar about 40 years ago, which I now own, and I used it on those two acoustic cuts. In fact, I haven’t really played much electric guitar at all lately. It’s interesting that, even though old blues artists such as Blind Lemon Jefferson and Skip James influenced our heavy riffs, those players also led me to appreciate the completely different approach and vibe of the acoustic guitar.”
Randy Huth (guitar)
Joel Winter (bass)
Josh Martin (drums)
1 Spinning Wheel Blues 2:39
2 Highway Sermon 5:19
3 Stone Leaves 4:07
4 Long Be the Day 3:04
5 Train Lady Blue 3:44
6 Bleeding Hands 6:19
7 The Greenest Gray 3:59
8 The Green, Rain Snake 2:14
9 I See, Shadows, I See 3:34
10 1, 000 Cities 3:18
Excellent band; well-produced, retro-accurate recording (originally released in 2003). Pearls & Brass, a trio from Nazareth, PA, are a bit difficult to describe. The riff is the key element with these guys. But they write riffs the way Lennie Tristano or Lee Konitz improvise lines: long, complex, convoluted, and rhythmically surprising, yet still containing plenty of feeling. The music is comparable to (but not necessarily derived from) Sabbath, old GFR, Mountain, and the more deliberately out-there work of Gary Moore's old band, Skid Row. Overall the emphasis is on early-'70s-style heaviness and the blues-rock aspect. That's where the Sabbath comparisons originate, but the riffs and melodies on this disc are more mathematically challenging than any of Sabbath's output. Vocals are strong and gritty. Guitar tones, as well as the drums and bass, are all well-recorded, and I wouldn't change a thing about the mix.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!! MONSTER!!!
Rip from CD 256@ (full artwork included)