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Released: 2005, Independent
Reviewer: Lord of the Wasteland
Calgary’s Sittin’ Idol made us wait almost four years since their promising self-titled debut and all I can say after listening to GALLERY is it was worth the wait! The great thing about Sittin’ Idol is their inability to be pigeon-holed. Are they metal? A little. Are they modern rock? Mmm..a little. A bit of Tesla-ish late 80s hard rock comes to mind, too. This flexibility left Sittin’ Idol open to tour the U.S. with Damageplan and Drowning Pool and their local cred allows them to play with just about any band that slings a guitar. GALLERY shows that the band has not only found their groove musically but also as a band. Vocalist Scott Lennox still prays at the altar of Alice In Chains’ Layne Staley but at times shows a bit of inflection similar to Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Godsmack’s Sully Erna, as well. Guitarist Rick Hatch’s sludgy, southern-based riffs are hypnotic and really get inside your head. These ten originals (including a Pink Floyd cover) show a band still searching for their sound but all things seem to be headed in the right direction.
The slow, southern rock feel of “Stray” could easily be taken from a Down CD and the acoustic intro offsets the punch found later on in the track. This doom-y aura continues on with “Forgotten Sun,” stealing a meaty riff and thick bottom end from DELIVERANCE-era Corrosion of Conformity and Lennox’s snarling delivery echoes that of Layne Staley a la Mad Season. “Spread The Word” may turn off some metal purists with its downtuned riffing and modern rock feel but the groove is undeniable. “Whole Lotta Nothin’,” the one “must have” track from GALLERY, sees the new rhythm section of Mark Fassina (bass) and Stu Purpur (drums) get into the driver’s seat, commanding a double bass attack and infectious groove in the middle section. The Pink Floyd cover is…well, let’s just say that Sittin’ Idol has certainly made it their own. The sped-up pacing gives the song a rollicking bar band feel but at the same time, the psychedelic, ethereal nature of the original is completely lost. Having met with the moronic stereotypes Americans have of Canadians during their trip down south with Damageplan, the inclusion of a radio blurb about them is added on to the end of the banjo-heavy “Homestead.” The instrumental “Olakhota” gives Hatch a real chance to shine with dual guitar melodies and a soaring solo, proving just what it was that won Dimebag Darrell over.
With a guitar-heavy sophomore album under their belts and an unthinkable endorsement from and high-profile run of dates with Damageplan, Sittin’ Idol has delivered an album that is muted in the right places and kicks asses in others. Some might call GALLERY “modern rock with solos” and that statement wouldn’t be far off but with Hatch’s guitar and Lennox’s wailing/growled vocals, Sittin’ Idol clearly has more to offer than the commercial crap forced down listeners’ throats these days. Groovy, melodic and with teeth, GALLERY is the next step in Sittin’ Idol’s road to the big time.
KILLER KUTS: “Stray,” “Forgotten Sun,” “Whole Lotta Nothin’,” “Homestead”
2. Forgotten Sun
3. Spread The Word
4. Whole Lotta Nothin'
5. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Pink Floyd cover)
8. The Current
9. West Point
10. Olakhota (Instrumental)
11. The Last of The Breed In Utah (Hidden Track)
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