Released: 2011, Eagle Rock Entertainment/Armoury Records
Reviewer: Robert Williams
WhoCares is a super group comprised of a virtual who's who of some of the biggest names in hard rock and heavy metal. It is also worth noting that this is the first time in years that the legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi has worked with Ian Gillan (Deep Purple) on some new music. Iron Maiden's Nicko McBrain pounds the skins and former Metallica alumni Jason Newsted finally breaks his silence by contributing some bass guitar.
The debut single by WhoCares features two tracks and a music video and is comparable to Ronnie James Dio's star studded "Hear N' Aid" project in that WhoCares was assembled to promote charity and awareness of the current situation in Armenia that both Iommi and Gillan are both deeply concerned about.
Now on to the music. "Out Of My Mind" features down-tuned guitars soaked in effect with slick modern production techniques employed and hooky vocal harmonies that make for a readily marketable radio rock single, but nothing to really write home about considering the enormous musical talent assembled. I can appreciate that this super group of sorts had to find common ground that could reach a pretty wide audience in the hopes of broadening their cause, but at the same time knowing what Mr. Iommi and Mr. Gillan are capable of "Out Of My Mind" leaves a bit to be desired musically speaking.
"Holy Water" the B-Side of the single if you will; opens with some Middle Eastern sounding melodies performed on an instrument called the "Duduk" before delivering some riffery that is much more recognizable and on par with Tony Iommi's illustrious track record than it's predecessor. Ian Gillan's vocal delivery is much bluesier and carefree on this track and Deep Purple's Jon Lord can be heard on the organ filling out the band's classic wall of sound approach. I much prefer "Holy Water" to "Out Of My Mind" as all parties considered sound like they are letting loose and doing what they do best as opposed to trying to musically conform to what's hip with modern rock radio.
A music video and accompanying thirty minute documentary are included for those who would have given their right arm to have been a fly on the wall at the recording sessions for the WhoCares project adding further bang for your buck and of course supporting a knoble cause. All sales from this single are to be donated to rebuild a music school for children in Gyumri, Armenia.