By Keith Carman
Generally speaking, a band should be greater than the sum of its parts. We’ve seen such a basic law many times over when vocalists part with their respective musicians. Foregoing details, witness Dickinson/Iron Maiden, Halford/Judas Priest or Roth/Van Halen. With that understanding, one would imagine that when uniting already-powerful forces in Clutch vocalist Neil Fallon, Fireball Ministry‘s James Rota, CKY drummer Jess Margera, guitarist Dave Bone, and Fu Manchu bassist Brad Davis, The Company Band would be unstoppable. After all, each of these musicians has built up their own dedicated following outside of their bread ‘n’ butter to various extents. To put them into one sole band should make for, like, the heavy metal Voltron: independent forces creating an unstoppable powerhouse. Unfortunately though, on this 10-track affair we end up with passable yet modestly inferior results as to what is expected. Straightforward groove/metal bouts veer closer to boogie rock than solid metal and never truly pick up a seriously rockin’ pace. Furthermore, the album feels like wishy-washy bits of material not quite up to the par of these artists’ day jobs. It’s almost as they were too humbled by their contemporaries to actually stand up and discount an idea. Hearing the predictability of “Infinite Six,” “It’s A Confusing World” and “Lethe Water,” one imagines jam sessions unfolding like a British parliamentary debate: no one saying anything for fear of offending or not toeing the line. Which isn’t to say this is inferior. With its solid, bouncy meters supporting solid melodies, it is worth multiple spins. Furthermore, were this an unknown band’s debut, it would be a solid, pride-worthy affair. With its name members and their various legacies though, it’s a bit deflating.
By Keith Carman