It has been a while since I heard some new music from Silvano Zago and his bullfrog rock band from Italy, Bullfrog. But they are about to release their fourth studio album Clearwater, and like the rest of their discography, which I have reviewed here, this one is going to rock your speakers.
Bullfrog creates the traditional bullfrog rock sound of bands like ZZ Top, Canned Heat and Rory Gallagher with their own special flavour to provide hard rocking tracks that fill a dance hall or your living room with sound that will percolate the hearing senses.
Clearwater is another great Bullfrog album filled with powder kegs like "No Salvation", which opens the album with deep bass, blasting electric guitars and heavy drums. Francesco Dalla Riva's vocals remind me so much of AC/DC's Brian Johnson, and that coupled with the power bass and lead electric guitar are enough to kick any album off in fine fair.
"Too Bad for Love" has that distinctive ZZ TOP sound and backbeat that will buzz your ears and rock you rhythmically.
"Isolation" has an early Jethro Tull sound to it. Remember JT's first couple albums, especially This Was? "Isolation" will take you back there, especially when special guest Bruno Marini fires up his flute and delivers the assault. This is my favorite track on the album.
"Slow Trucker" is another early ZZ Top – like song that will take you right back to the sounds you remember from Degüello. A solid third behind "Better Days" on my favorites list for the CD.
The title track, "Clearwater" features the excellent talents of Jimi Barbiani on slide guitar. The drum blasting coming from Michele Dalla Riva will rock the walls of your home like few do. Francesco's vocals really drive home that powerful AC/DC growl on this one as he sings on the refrain, "I'm going back to the Clearwater…that's where my soul begins to rise". Silvano Zago's electric lead guitar simmers in all the heat and helps enhance the power of the pounding beat.
Hammond organ from guest artist Simone Bistaffa makes "Monster" another highlight track. The reverb from the organ adds that special sauce that just helps the thumping drums and guitar roll down easier.
The long strung chord from Zago that opens "Say Your Prayers" is one of the best on the album. It rivets your ears as you listen to the thud of the drums that follow.
"South of the Border" is another powerful song full of Zago's guitar buzz and the sound of those pulsating drums.
"Long Time Boogie" is another album favorite especially for every fan that can remember that classic boogie from high school similar to Led Zep's "Boogie with Stu".
"Better Days" takes the album in a whole new direction. Fabio Serra's acoustic guitar brings a strong Led Zeppelin III feel, to close the album. And that is absolutely a wonderful thing. Marini's flute makes a re-appearance and Zago's lead electric lays into the harder parts of the rhythm well. The vocal harmonies are great. Keyboards and bells add more elegance to the sound.
This is yet another solid album from Bullfrog and one that will not only take you back to the music that you may remember from your teen years, but it will also awaken your ears to a new band that has the ability to reach and rock you like ZZ Top or AC/DC did back then. Get this. Sit back and enjoy. Repeat. ;^)
01. No Salvation
02. Too Bad For Love
04. Slow Trucker
07. Say Your Prayers
08. Lorraine Lorraine
09. South of the Border
10. Long Time Boogie
11. Better Days
Band or Label Website Link:
Added: October 20th 2014
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
Related Link: http://www.bullfrogband.it
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