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Rock, Bobby: Groovin' in Tongues (Reissue)

Famed drummer Bobby Rock gathered an impressive cast of talent on this 1994 EP that has thankfully been resissued on the Paranormal label. Joining the powerhouse drummer are guitarists Brett Garsed and T.J. Helmerich (both from Uncle Moe's Space Ranch), bass player Carl Carter, and singer Ray Greene. The EP is a mix of original songs and a few cover tunes, and played in a style that fuses hard rock, fusion, and funk.

The opener is a kick-ass cover of the Isley Brother's "Climbin' Up the Ladder", featuring molten guitar solos from Garsed and Helmerich, and the incredible vocals of Ray Greene. The singer is in full command on the funky "Wordz of Wizdom", a great vehicle for him to show off his powerful pipes, as well as to hear the nimble bass chops of Carter. "Enter the Cosmic Christ" is a heavier, more straighforward number, with chunky guitar work and strong vocals, but lacks something compared to the other songs here. The band includes a rippin' version of the Edgar Winter classic "Frankenstein", and although this must be the most covered song in history, they manage to inject their own personality into it. Being that the band does not use a keyboard player, Garsed and Helmerich fill in all the extra parts where synths or sax might be, and Rock really lets loose on the drum solo section. "Psalm" starts as a melodic rocker with a religious message, then becomes a furiously complex piece with tight band interplay and wild guitar exchanges. The real essence of the band comes out in the closing piece "Pedal to the Metal", a wild ride that could have been a leftover from a Steve Vai album. With the furious rhythm section of Rock and Carter behind them, Garsed and Helmerich lay down some amazingly complex yet melodic unison lines. Utilizing an amalgam of styles such as metal, country, jazz and blues, the two axe players throw everything in here but the kitchen sink.

This EP was the precursor to the full-length CD that would surface a few years later called Out of Body. That release morphed into a fully instrumental affair featuring the trio of Rock, Garsed, and Carter, with Helmerich handling most of the engineering chores and contributing a few guitar tracks here and there. Both of these CD's are available and best picked up as a set, so you can hear the power of this group in a vocal and instrumental setting.

Added: January 4th 2003
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Paranormal Records
Hits: 2864
Language: english

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