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F5
A Drug For All Seasons
April 2006
Released: 2005, Dead Line Music/Cleopatra Records
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland

As Dave Mustaine carries on with new musicians under the Megadeth name, his former partner-in-crime (both literally and figuratively), David Ellefson, moves in another direction with his new band, F5, and its album, A DRUG FOR ALL SEASONS. The split with Mustaine was a very messy and public one with lawsuits and plenty of accusations flying from both sides generating more bad press than good. It seems a settlement has been made and the focus can be turned back to what counts—the music. A DRUG FOR ALL SEASONS is far removed from Ellefson’s previous work in Megadeth, as it features a mix of hook-filled, melodic modern hard rock/metal that has more in common with bands like Disturbed, Velvet Revolver and Sevendust. Musically, the band holds up well and delivers on all counts. Vocalist Dale Steele sounds very close to Disturbed’s David Draiman (minus the throaty monkey noises) on many of the tracks but nowhere does the music devolve into nu-metal rubbish. Guitarists Steve Conley and John Davis split lead and rhythm duties and while solos are used sparingly, the riffing sets up tight rhythms for Ellefson and drummer Dave Small to follow. The choruses are radio-friendly catchy and instantly memorable but with enough bite to please fans of the heavier stuff, as well.



I was a bit leery of what to expect when I first got this CD but as soon as “Faded” kicks in, all reservations were forgotten. The riffs are ensconced firmly in the modern heavy rock vein and pack plenty of punch, with Steele doing his best Dave Draiman impression. “Dissidence,” “Fall To Me” and “Bleeding” are all cut from the same cloth—driving, groove-based hard rock backing melodic choruses that burrow deep into your brain for days. “Dying On The Vine” borders on a Velvet Revolver glam-rock vibe, with thunderous power chords and an attitude-filled vocal from Steele. “Hold Me Down” features some interesting breaks and the verses are reserved enough to let the chorus swing in to pump the song full of energy. The amusing lyrics behind “X’d Out” touch on the misfortune of Paris Hilton, Tommy Lee, et al, whose home video adventures got leaked for public viewing. Ellefson drops a 12-string bass instrumental with “Forte Sonata” and what makes it interesting is that the entire track is played exclusively on the bass despite the sound of strings, guitar and bass. Very cool way to end the CD.



The only real misstep that can be found on A DRUG FOR ALL SEASONS is the bizarre choice of a cover track—Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians’ trippy 1988 hit, “What I Am.” F5 certainly make it their own and it took the chorus to finally recognize the track but this simply doesn’t work. The original was a flakey, neo-hippy pop song and F5 butches it up here but Steele’s tough-guy vocals just kill the essence of the original version’s cryptic fluff. I’ll admit to being a big fan of the Brickell & Co. version when it first hit the airwaves—I still own the CD—so maybe for someone who has never heard the original, F5’s take may not be that bad but to these ears, it is sacrilege.



A DRUG FOR ALL SEASONS is a change of pace to what I hear for the most part and to be honest, it was welcome change and a pleasant surprise. Fans expecting to hear Ellefson tear it up a la RUST IN PEACE need look elsewhere because it ain’t happening here. This is a briskly-paced, modern rock record that is firmly entrenched into the popular sounds of 2005. Despite the unfortunate marketing ploy of the big yellow label reading “File Under MEGADETH Featuring DAVID ELLEFSON!” emblazoned on the cover, F5 is a strong band with enough talent to stand on its own without pandering to former glories. Put simply, A DRUG FOR ALL SEASONS rocks from front to back and with any luck, radio will pick up on some of these tracks and make F5 a success.



KILLER KUTS: “Faded,” “Dissidence,” “Fall To Me,” “Bleeding,” “Dying On The Vine,” “Hold Me Down”
Track Listing

1. Faded
2. Dissidence
3. Fall To Me
4. A Drug For All Seasons
5. Bleeding
6. What I Am
7. Dying on The Vine
8. Hold Me Down
9. Defacing
10. X'd Out
11. Look You In The Eyes
12. Forte Sonata (Instrumental)

Lineup

Dale Steele—Vocals
John Davis—Guitar
Steve Conley—Guitar/Sitar
David Ellefson—Bass/Rhythm Guitar
Dave Small—Drums


Next review: » F5 - A Drug For All Seasons
Previous review: » F.K.Ü. - Where Moshers Dwell

F5
A Drug For All Seasons
February 2008
Released: 2006, Mascot Records
Rating: 1.5/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

When the ex-Megadeth bass player Dave Ellefson decided to form a band back in 2003 he was joined by Conley on guitar and Small on drums and he named the group F5. After a while he was joined by Steele on lead vocals and Davis on guitar. Once the line-up was set the new band F5 were born. They instantly started to work on their debut album and if you thought that F5 were gonna be anything remotely like Megadeth you were wrong. Unfortunately, I hear music on the album that can be linked to the dreadful modern metal genre. Despite heavy riffs, the music is nothing other than mallcore shit. Steele only sings in the choruses as the verses of the songs are executed with some sort of talk singing style. I had great hopes for this album and Ellefson is one of my favorite bass players but I have to admit that F5 is band I’m gonna regret that I’ve ever heard.



A DRUG FOR ALL SEASONS contains 35 minutes of music and it feels like the disc lasts for ever and ever. The songs are anonymous and sound exactly like each other. Even though the musicians are talented, this is just a sad attempt of trying to make money on playing college rock/mallcore. Unfortunately, Ellefson looses his integrity at least for me.



The only solid thing and the one thing I can admit the band have managed to do right is the production which feels solid and too good for this band. The producer Ryan Greene is the bands true star. This goes out to all fans of David Ellefson – please avoid A DRUG FOR ALL SEASONS, at least if you want to listen to Ellefson without crying in the future.
Track Listing

Faded
Dissidence
Fall to Me
A Drug for All
Bleeding
What I Am
Dying on the Vine
Hold Me Down
Defacing
X’d Out
Look You in the Eyes
Forta Sonata

Lineup

Dale Steele – lead vocals
Steve Conley – guitar
Dave Small – drums
John Davis – guitar
David Ellefson – bass


Next review: » Face Down - The Will To Power
Previous review: » F.K.Ü. - Where Moshers Dwell





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