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Bangtower

With N With Out

Review by Gary Hill

The newest album from Bangtower,  this continues the fusion rock explorations of the act. The core of the band is Neil Citron (best known for his work with Lana Lane and a stint with Quiet Riot), Percy Jones (of Brand X fame) and Walter Garces. This album is mostly instrumental, but a few songs have vocals. It is a nice blend of jazz and rock. It's classy stuff and a great addition to their catalog.

Track by Track Review
Hello I'm Here
A mellow fusion introduction plays out as the album starts. This moves forward gradually. As this gets more intense guitar soloing brings it more into the vein of artists like Joe Satriani. Still, it manages to drop back down to the earlier pure fusion sounds to carry it forward. This is a great introduction to the set.
PCH

There is a definite world music sound at the start, but it moves toward a frantic fusion before settling back down into something less furious, but no less powerful in terms of mysterious musical textures. This thing is so cool, working back up to screaming hot jamming and yet getting into mellower territory, too. This is fusion at its best.

Chipotle
Coming in with more of a rock sound, this is another that makes me think of Satriani quite a bit. This is classy stuff. It has some non-lyrical vocals over the top, more as instrumentation. It drops back to some mellower music mid-track, but comes back out rocking.
Sole to Soul
I love the bass work on this thing, particularly in the instances where it really takes over the mix. That said, the guitar soloing is pretty amazing, too. I am reminded in some ways of Carlos Santana in terms of the expressiveness of the guitar lines. This is an intriguing number for sure.
Roger, Wilco, 'n' Out
As this powers into being it's much more of a rock song. This number has some vocals. Although it still includes some fusion sounds, this is much more of a mainstream rocker. Of course, the jazz based bass solo is one of the elements that keeps it from landing fully under the "rock music" heading. There is a pretty amazing jam later in the track that's a great combination of jazz and rock music. It even gets some southern rock built into some of the guitar soloing. Yet there is also a quick passage of classical styled music. At just over eight minutes of length, this is an extensive cut. They put all that time to great use.
Uncle Floyd
I love the guitar work on this thing. It has some exceptional jamming all around, though. This lands more in the jazz corner of the musical world, but still really qualifies as fusion. It has some exceptional musical passages built into it.
Kitty's Real Groove
Another that makes me think of Satriani quite a bit, this tune has some vocals on it, but only one line (almost the title) that's heard a few times. It's another killer fusion jam, this one landing just a bit more on the rock side of the equation. I am fully enamored with the awesome bass solo on this tune.
My Father's Smile
I love the intricate instrumental work on the start of this. As it works outward, it's full on prog rock in style. This is fairly mellow, but quite potent.
McGown's Pass
Speaking of potent, this has some amazing melodic journeys built into it. It leans in the neighborhood of jazz prog but with a lot of fusion at its heart, too. The mellower drop back section dominated by the bass is particularly cool. So are the melodies that emerge as it stretches forward from there.  We get some trippy freeform stuff along this road, too. This is an extensive and dynamic cut, covering a lot of musical territory. As always, I love the bass work on this thing.
This Is My Town
The guitar that opens this has a smoking hot hard rocking sound. This gets some full on rock vocals. It feels like a Southern rock tune in so many ways. There is a bit of a left-of-center edge to this cut, but it's the most mainstream rock thing here. It makes me think of King's X a bit. The drop back for the rhythm section duet earns some "non-mainstream" points.
6/8 Primate
A count in gives way to trippy weirdness. The cut grows outward from there. This is electronic music meets freaky fusion and more. More mainstream fusion emerges beyond that with each musician finding opportunities to stand out beyond the pack. I particularly like the bass soloing on this thing.
Good Bye 'n' Good Nite
Melodic fusion opens this and moves it forward. It is pretty straightforward for quite a while. Then it shifts out for some smoking hot soloing from there. It drops back to the earlier jam to continue beyond that point. There are some vocals later in this tune. It really turns to more of melodic rock tune that feels like it would have been at home in the 1960s.
Bonus - I'll be Home for Christmas
The guitar drives the melody of this number. It's a cool fusion version of the old classic holiday song. There are some non-lyrical vocals at first, and then later some lyrical singing emerges.
 
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