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BangTower: Casting Shadows

Former Brand X bass legend Percy Jones sure has been a busy guy lately, collaborating on a recent CD with fusion guitar stud Scott McGill & drummer Ritchie DeCarlo, and now joining up with guitarist/engineer/producer Neil Citron (who has worked with Lana Lane & Erik Norlander), and Electric Prunes drummer Water Garces for a hot trio called BangTower. Casting Shadows is the culmination of their union, a sizzling blend of fiery jazz fusion, hard rock, and prog that is sure to please anyone into well played instrumental music.

This debut release was produced by Citron and Jon Pomplin (Declassified Records), and is just a great sounding CD all around. Plenty of musical styles happening here, like the funky fusion of fast paced opener "BBA", complete with acrobatic guitar work from Citron and Jones' always present elastic fretless bass lines, or the lean 'n' mean, bluesy "Sex Me Up", a real catchy piece with solid rhythms and scorching wah-wah leads from Citron. Other highlights include the melodic prog-fusion of "Hair of the Dog", the Jeff Beck Blow By Blow influenced "Ballad of Wealth", Percy's liquid bass lines battling it out with Citron's wild wah-wah licks on "Man In the Middle", and the Garces- driven rhythmic monster "Groove Snake". All three musicians put in stellar performances throughout, as each song features killer grooves, jaw dropping solo excustions, and memorable melodies.

Casting Shadows is a real fun listen, and a must hear for fusion and prog fanatics. Here's hoping that Jones, Citron, and Garces make BangTower more than just a one trick pony.

Track Listing
1) BBA
2) Sex Me Up
3) Hair of the Dog
4) Let 'Em Drown
5) Ballad of Wealth
6) Man in the Middle
7) Groove Snake
8) 1%ters

Added: December 26th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Website
Hits: 3248
Language: english

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BangTower: Casting Shadows
Posted by Ryan Sparks, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-12-26 10:26:44
My Score:

Bangtower is an exciting new project that unites three incredibly talented musicians who not only bring a killer amount of chops to the table, but a wealth of experience as well. First up we have Grammy award winning guitarist Neil Citron, who is renowned for his session and production work throughout the music and film world. Likewise drummer and clinician Walter Garces, a member of The Electric Prunes, is another in demand musician who has played on a multitude of sessions over the course of his career. Rounding out the trio is none other than fretless bass wizard Percy Jones, whose trademark sound and unique playing in the jazz fusion outfit Brand X garnered him world wide acclaim in the mid 70's.

This debut album Casting Shadows contains eight original, all instrumental compositions that are as challenging as they are diverse. The chemistry between these world class players is immediately apparent on the opening track "BBA", a seven minute tour-de force that features a pretty good indication of what's in store for the listener throughout this disc. Propelled by Neil's incendiary playing and crazed Jeff Beck inspired soloing, Percy's funky, elastic bass lines and Walter's driving drum work, you have an instant winner. The fireworks don't end there however, as the for the next thirty five minutes or so the trio spices things up aplenty with their sizzling blend of hard edged rock laced with fusion grooves. "Hair Of The Dog" is a marvelous example of their compositional genius as the track drifts through a handful of different moods and themes. Citron's articulate solos overtop the funky synthesized horns are featured prominently throughout the first half until the dynamic suddenly shifts with a brief display of funky interplay between Garces and Jones, before Citron reappears to add some more smoldering solos into the mix. "Ballad Of Wealth" is another standout track that really gives you some fantastic insight into just how great a guitar player Neil Citron really is as he fires off a plethora of Vai- like solos. The serpentine groove that winds its way through "Man In The Middle" provides some pleasant contrast to these guitar dominated proceedings, although Neil isn't out of the picture for very long as he kicks in with another dizzying array of guitar pyrotechnics towards the second half of this track.

What more can I say about this disc that hasn't already been said! This is an absolutely killer album from beginning to end, and really my only complaint here is that, at just a shade over forty minutes, I found myself wanting more from this exciting new band. That being said, there's a heaping amount of kick ass jams, memorable melodies and an endless amount of thick n' meaty grooves that will resonate with all serious music lovers.

If you enjoy instrumental hard rock/ fusion performed by real musical virtuosos, then look no further than this stellar debut effort from Bangtower.

BangTower: Casting Shadows
Posted by Jon Neudorf, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-11-22 22:47:00
My Score:

The rock fusion power trio of Percy Jones, Neil Citron and Walter Garces has just released their first CD entitled Casting Shadows and it is excellent. This is a progressive rock tour d force with absolutely delicious playing from all three members.

First a little background on the band.

Percy Jones, formerly of Brand X, is a fabulous bass player. Jones is originally from Wales and spent his younger years playing bass in the Liverpool scene. He has been involved with several projects, including the band Tunnels and has worked with many musicians including Brian Eno, Bill Frisell and Richard Barbieri. He is considered by Bass Player magazine as one of the best in the world and after listening to Casting Shadows there is no doubting that assertion.

Neil Citron won a Grammy Award in 2002 for his contribution to No Substitutions: Live In Osaka by Larry Carlton and Steve Luthaker. He has worked with a number of artists and is currently working on a second solo album.

Walter Garces was born in New York but moved to L.A. in the mid '80s where he met Neil Citron and they have collaborated on many projects through the years. Walter has also worked with Tony Franklin, John Goodsall (Brand X) and Neil Turbin (Anthrax).

All three musicians boast an impressive resume and they do not disappoint on Casting Shadows. They mesh flawlessly together, each playing off the other in an incredibly tight unit. The band plays a style of heavier progressive rock with elements of hard rock, blues and jazz. Fans of fusion should absolutely love this CD.

The progressive hard rock of "BBA" kicks things into high gear with a breathtaking bass solo and some top notch guitar going from fusion style to shredding with some low guttural notes in between. Keyboards are used for a subtle effect but add just the right amount of atmosphere. "Sex Me Up" is a bluesy hard rock affair with a nod to the mighty Zeppelin with some moodier sections while the band shifts tempos in the fusion inspired "Hair of the Dog". Again Jone's bass playing reaches for the stratosphere as it does over the entire disc. It is that good.

Perhaps my favourite tune is "Man in the Middle" where progressive fusion sounds hold a solid melody while still retaining a complexity that is so common throughout the disc. The guitar and bass interplay create some of the CDs most memorable moments of which there are many.

Casting Shadows is a great album and one that I recommend to all fans of progressive/hard rock. Check out the band's website and buy yourself a copy, it will be one of the best purchases you will make this year.

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