Released: 2005, Favored Nations Entertainment
Reviewer: Gabriel C. Zolman
This is a Metal site; this disc, at passing glance, appears to be deficient in this sense. This is sort of like a Widney High talent show, in that it already has many obsticles to overcome right off the bat, but you feel guilty dismissing it without giving it a fighting chance. So wheel this hypothetical short bus to the curb, and let's see what sort of "special" things roll out, twitching and drooling, toward us.
THE SEVEN DEADLY SHORT BUS SINS OF DOPPLER, INC.:
1. This was co-produced by Pete Karr, whose credits include Michael Bolton, and Jennifer Love Hugetits.
Short Bus Credit: one drool cup, and a hairlip.
2. This features largely studio musicians, like Stu Hamm, Billy Sheehan, and Brad Gillis. None of these men are sub-par, but they don't exactly reach much further than, say, your rural girlfriend's CD collection, which is probably TEEMING with Mr. Big and Night Ranger CD's, isn' it?
Short Bus Credit: a mixed bag of various medications, from Phenobarbitol to Thorazine, and a Hi-C juice box or Capri-Sun to help swallow the Big Pills.
3. The CD is entirely instrumental. This, of course, levels the playing field (i.e. the potential buying audience) to other musicians, a few odd Proggie gym teachers, and your dad.
Short Bus Credit: at least one kid with a helmet, and three that smell like fish or feet.
4. The CD/Project is "Christian." And yet it is instrumental. I'm not sure whether to be glad or not. It's sort of like someone handing me a Chick tract with the word balloons blanked out. A "mixed blessing," at best--no pun intended. Lord help us all.
Short Bus Credit: one lazy eye, that rarely stops staring at your neck or butt, and two disturbed ex-altar boys since made into "altar MEN."
5. The CD has a Nu Metal influence, no doubt "for the kids" in that condescending Youth Pastor sort of way, like an old camp counselor struggling with out-of-date sex and drug lingo at D.A.R.E.
Short Bus Credit: three imaginary friends, six nonexistant fathers, and twelve missing chromosomes overall.
6. "Doug Doppler" is about three stammers away from a solid Porn Name. "Now Playing at the Couples Lounge & Men's Club: 'Buggered Lugs And Heaving Jugs Part III,' starring Dirk Diggler, Doug Doppler and Nina Hartley. Adults only."
Short Bus Credit: a seat next to that freckled kid in the army jacket, who tried to carve the Aerosmith logo into his dog.
7. It has a song called "Funky Armadillo." 'Nuff said.
Short Bus Credit: "Gabba gabba! We accept you! One of us! Gabba gabba! One of us!"
So, with a project so seemingly doomed to a scathing review from the get-go...what does it have going for it?
1. Doug Doppler is actually a gifted musician, as are his studio merceneries. If they were good enough for Ozzy Osbourne and David Lee Roth (not to mention Christian Rock notables such as Ken Tamplin, and so forth), we best not turn our coke-smeared noses up quite yet, now should we? Plus one chromosome.
2. Doug Doppler was Joe Satriani's protege, and his personal choice to follow his mighty lead, where guitar-teaching was concerned. Plus one chromosome.
3. Doug Doppler was involved in the legendary G3 Tour. Plus one chromosome.
4. The label, Favored Nations, has put out solo discs by the likes of John Petrucci (Dream Theater). Plus one chromosome.
5. Solo instrumental discs by rockers such as Jeff Beck and Mike Terrana ruled. We can't dismiss the voiceless without a fight... Plus one chromosome.
6. The "religious" elements are entirely theoretical, like the Invisible Men they hinge upon. It's only music, man. Read into it whatever you like. Plus one chromosome.
7. It's actually pretty good. The CD really flows and gels from track to track, with diversity and versatility to spare. Again...it helps if you're a musician, or in need of voiceless music for something. But if either is your thing, you might actually do well to pick this up. It runs the gammet from Aggro-rock/Metal to Alterna-whatever. And "Funky Armadillo" is actually kinda cool. One final begrudging chromosome.
As you see, it really evens out. It's not easy to judge, much less review. If you want a soundtrack, you've got it. Have another fruit cup, on the house.