Monday 25 September 2017

Album Review: REX BROWN - Smoke On This

Rex Brown - Smoke On This

01. Lone Rider
02. Crossing Lines
03. Buried Alive
04. Train Song
05. Get Yourself Alright
06. Fault Line
07. What Comes Around...
08. Grace
09. So Into You
10. Best Of Me
11. One of These Days

Smoke On This is the debut solo album from the legendary Pantera/Down/Kill Devil Hill bass player. I saw Rex jump on stage with the appallingly bad Philip Anselmo and The Illegals at Download festival 2014 to play a cover of Pantera's A New Level, and it was truly sad. Rex could still play, but he looked skinny and gaunt, like a man on death's door. I felt a little disturbed looking at him, and I honestly thought that he wasn't long for this world. I know that's a fucked up way to start a review, but I'm really happy that three years later, I'm sitting here writing about his excellent new album as opposed to his obituary.

If you thought Smoke On This was going to be a super heavy album like something from Down or Pantera, you'll be surprised. It's more like Southern Classic Rock than brutal Metal, but with a contemporary twist. To my ears, it sounds like Soundgarden mixed with AC/DC and a twist of Black Stone Cherry, which is fine by me.

With the exception of the first Down album, this is my favourite record from any of the ex-Pantera members. It's not breaking any musical barriers, but still sounds new and interesting mainly due to the simple fact that it's full of well crafted songs, all brought to life with a 'top of the range' production. This style of music is both timeless and hugely popular, and Rex is doing it just as well as anyone else out there, including the artists that are filling stadiums worldwide.


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