View (CD Review)|
By Jeff Melton
Published April, 2004
Bryan Beller is best known as bassist for Mike Keneally's wacky ensemble, Beer For Dolphins. The impetus behind crafting an individual album is often to work out some material on your own that may not fit into a regular group environment. Also if the opportunity arises he could try out a few new instruments and play with some different people. Beller hits the nail on the head on each of these counts.
The disc is divided into solo pieces interspersed between longer compositions. The solo pieces are on opportunity to showcase the bassist's passive melodic side with Taylor acoustic and electric pieces as on "Bear Divide," "Elate," "Backwoods" and "No." Rick Musallam is the guitarist of choice for five of the seven electric pieces and he proves his best chops on "Eighteen Weeks." Beller's boss man, Keneally, also also makes notable contributions, especially on piano for "Seven Percent Grade" and lead guitar for "Supermarket People" that relies heavily on juicy groove. "Wildflower" displays another funky restrained side of the composer (as well as his lead vocal) with Musallam's wah-wah guitar against a grooving bass line. Plus the BfD trio reunites for the track, "See You Next Tuesday" before closing it all up with [a] ballad title track to end the disc.
Overall, Beller's confidence as a leader, composer and performer shines through in a strong light.
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