The Company Band
The Company Band

Neil Fallon (Clutch) is involved, so what are the chances that it will suck? Zero. How ‘bout dem odds, as we Michiganders might say? The Company Band’s self-titled full-length debut (after 2007’s Sign Here, Here, and Here EP) is an outstanding ball of rock ‘n roll fire with hooks that will indelibly print on your brain and lyrics from Fallon that are as clever as it gets.

The band is a super group of sorts and also features James Rota (Fireball Ministry), Jess Margera (CKY), Brad Davis (Fu Manchu), and Dave Bone. Unsurprisingly, the group’s rousing and catchy riff rock often sounds like a combination of Clutch, Fireball Ministry, and to a limited extent, Fu Manchu. Hell, if you really want to define the sound, it is 70s based, at least in spirit, and vaguely recalls the big rock of Bachman Turner Overdrive (that’s a compliment, by the way). I don’t think it is a coincidence that the digital-only single for “It’s a Confusing World” (one of the very best songs on the album with stop-start stutter and big fucking groove) was “packaged” with a cover of BTO’s “Not Fragile.”

The short of it is that the album rocks like a mofo. Song after song is a highlight and you’ll have no problem listening to the disc from front to back. This is the kind of album that should be played every hour on the hour on one of America’s so-called FM rock stations. Songs like opener “Zombie Barricades” is a power-driving rock ‘n roller with an incredible chorus (not to mention Fallon’s fantastic lyrics) and an arrangement that breathes, allowing each magnificent riff plenty of room while the in-the-pocket rhythm section locks down tightly. And it gets even better with the addictive chorus of “Inline Six” (I just can’t say enough about it), the rather far out Clutch-like “Djinn and Pentatonic,” the hot boogie of “CD&W,” and the smooth, nearly hypnotic burn of “Milton Keynes.” But it is “Hot Topic Woman” that takes the cake from a lyrical standpoint. With an arrangement that loosely relates to that of the Guess Who’s “American Woman” and Fallon’s words about the frowning, retro metal wannabe hipster behind the cash register who is a “stone cold looker” whether she knows it or not. Fallon also sings, “How about a little smile? How about you ring me on up?” I’ll save the rest, so as not to spoil it, but these are some of the funniest, yet completely accurate, lyrics about the fashioncore ways of the Hot Topic nation you’ll ever hear. It’s gold, I tell ya! Gold!

The bottom line is there is a distinct dearth of bands nowadays that have written a true blue heavy rock album with huge hooks and killer riffs. The Company Band has done it and made it seem so easy, a quality that is the album’s biggest deception. You can’t beat it with a stick. Without question one of the year’s best rock albums.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Scott Alisoglu
December 3rd, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Much-needed fun encapsuled in a shiny silver disc to offset those maniacal, suffocating listening sessions (Portal, here’s looking at ya). Fallon’s the man.


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