Alter Bridge

Blackbird

Written by: PP on 15/01/2008 16:59:42

When Alter Bridge released their debut album in 2004, I remember listening to it once or twice before binning it as Creed^2, only with slightly better vocals and instrumentation. Much has changed since then. The band has changed record labels and integrated guitarist/vocalist Myles Kennedy fully into the song-writing process, and the result is an album about three fold better than the debut. Fans of the band need not to worry though, as \"Blackbird\" hasn\'t strayed too far away from their chart-topping hard rock roots, but yet the band has received a significant face lift in both sound and content of the songs.

Don\'t know Alter Bridge yet and therefore can\'t quite imagine what this band sounds like? Well, don\'t worry, because their sound can be explained in very simple terms. Imagine your favorite Billboard Modern Rock top20 hard rock band with huge choruses, slap on some high-range dynamic clean vocals and a few mind-numbing solos to multiply the interest factor a few times, and you\'re pretty much there. Yep, Alter Bridge aren\'t exactly re-inventing the wheel for the genre.

But as history has often shown us, you don\'t need to be particularly fresh or original, as long as you write great songs. I challenge you NOT to sing along to the opening song \"Ties That Bind\" or the infectious chorus in \"Before Tomorrow Comes\", which features some dual-guitar dynamics that can only be described as astonishingly beautiful. In fact, the same dynamic can be seen across the album - gentle melody here, hard-hitting riffs there, peculiar effects all around, that\'s the name of the game on \"Blackbird\". Sound familiar? This is exactly what bands like Pearl Jam have been capitalizing on for years now, and if you listen closely, a song like \"Rise Today\" hints slightly towards a Pearl Jam influence, too. Think of it as \"post-grunge\".

And that is the strength of \"Blackbird\". It sounds mainstream without sounding soulless and dispassionate. Kennedy\'s high vocals come across as strong the whole time, and combined with the soft/hard guitar melodies, give across a vibe that this is the album these four guys have been wanting to write all along. As a result, the songs are convincing and enjoyable. The only problem with the album? It\'s far too long, so towards the end you\'re left with a feeling \"oh God, when do they stop playing\".

7

Download: Ties That Bind, Before Tomorrow Comes
For the fans of: Pearl Jam, Creed, 3 Doors Down, Crossfade
Listen: Myspace
Buy: iTunes

Release date 09.10.2007
Universal Republic Records

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