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.
3) Fall To Me
4) A Drug For All Seasons
6) What I Am
7) Dying on the Vine
8) Hold Me Down
10) X'd Out
11) Look You In The Eyes
12) Forte Sonata