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F5: A Drug For All Seasons

Surprise No. 1: Ex-Megadeth bassist Dave Ellefson has emerged from the shadows of his former band with an aggressive yet melodic metal project called F5 that boasts memorable hooks and radio-friendly choruses.

Surprise No. 2: Midway through the band's debut CD, A Drug For All Seasons, F5 covers "What I Am," a late-Eighties hit from the granola-crunching hippie group Edie Brickell & New Bohemians.

Surprise No. 3: A Drug For All Seasons - all 12 tracks - lasts only 36 minutes.

Have no doubt, F5 is heavy not Megadeth heavy, but certainly Disturbed heavy. In fact, there is a very good possibility that some savvy program directors at U.S. radio stations could really give F5 some well-deserved exposure. Vocalist Dale Steele has a loud and ambitious voice that conveys the power of this music, and the four musicians backing him play tight with might. Standout tracks include "Fall To Me," "Bleeding," "Hold Me Down" and "Defacing," and all songs are credited to the entire band. Although Ellefson's presence will no doubt prompt increased interest in this project, the man is not all over every track. Sure, there's a bass-heavy vibe throughout A Drug For All Seasons and closing track "Forte Sonata" is a 12-string bass instrumental but F5 sounds amazingly ego-free. It's clear Ellefson simply set out to find the best musicians he could, and rather than overstay his welcome, he opted for a short record that gives listeners a quick high. Nice work, man.

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

Added: December 27th 2005
Reviewer: Michael Popke
Related Link: Official F5 Web Site
Hits: 4148
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

F5: A Drug For All Seasons
Posted by Ken Pierce, SoT Staff Writer on 2005-12-27 13:13:20
My Score:

F5 is the new group that features Dave Ellefson, former bassist for Megadeth and for those who wondered if his next endeavor would be any good I am happy to say yes indeed it is. I admit that I approached this CD with some hesitation because I had never heard of any of the players that made up the band; yet I trusted the fact that Ellefson would not associate himself with something that would be sub par. He is one of the top bassists in Heavy Metal music and his collaborations with Dave Mustaine in Megadeth are numerous. F5 is a great Hard Rock band and from the start of the CD you can see that they kick it right into gear with a nice blend of Melodic Hard Rock music. "Faded" begins the introduction to the band and it's a fine and driving number with an almost technical drum sound. Vocalist Dale Steele has a good voice and shows a good amount of range across the record. The guitar work of Steve Conley is admirable and works well with the rhythms that Ellefson is setting up on bass. Lining out the group is John Davis (guitar) and Dave Small (drums). Together you get a very nicely laid out album that fans of Melodic Hard Rock can enjoy and while supporters of Ellefson might expect a secondary version of what he did with Megadeth you can be rest assured that he does not give us this. Tracks like "Dissidence" and "Drug For All Seasons" are among my favorites and while I have heard that this album appeals to fans of Disturbed I felt that this group has more in common with Soundgarden and others along those lines. "Defacing" also delivers as perhaps the heaviest and fastest number on the album and there is also a nice bit of guitar work on "Look You In The Eyes". Overall this was the case on most of the record and it is clear that the group took some care in the composition of the tunes. Good job guys. They also do a cover and this was a song that surprised me most of all. The track "What I Am" was originally recorded by Edie Brickell & The New Bohemians and this is not the type of track that you ever expect on a Hard Rock/Metal record. They did fine with it and of course it has a heavy edge far different from the original.

It's a very easy CD to find yourself getting into and it's a great return to standard and effective Hard Rock music which has been absent far too long amidst most newer bands. They are either going over the top thrash or power which made me find this a refreshing change of pace. A booklet with lyrics is included and there is also a bonus video cut from in the studio with the group. I recommend this for those fans of Dave mostly and for those that enjoy some solidly produced Hard Rock. This music sounds good when played loud in the stereo and I expect it comes across the same way in the live sense. Be on the lookout for F5.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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