August 11, 2012 by Dan Swinhoe
Welcome, and thank you for attending this shareholders meeting. Today we will be discussing the latest venture from The Company Band©, an exciting project (EP) entitled ‘Pros & Cons’.
When the Company Band appeared out of the blue back in 2007 with the audio gold that was Sign Here, Here and Here, it took everyone by surprise. For one, here was a genuine supergroup, one that didn’t suck, then they had the audacity to take the concept of mocking big business and put it a pure hard rocking soundtrack.
Made up of Clutch’s Neil Fallon on vocals, Jess Margera of CKY on drums, Fireball Ministry’s Jim Rota on guitar along with Dave Bone, and Brad Davis from Fu Manchu providing the bottom end, the Company Band have always been about the RAWK. Photoshopped pics of the band as boardroom suits and album artwork that reads like a stock report provide the backdrop to some of the best rock tunes released since the new millenium. And while they may have Clutch’s iconic and unmistakable larynx in tow, that’s where the similarities end. It’s all simple good time tunes, the kind of sound Clutch only occasionally hinted at. Though elements of each band shine through at times, on the whole TCB are far more inline with Fireball Ministry. Though they kept up the business man shtick for the photos and general promotion, 2009’s self-titled album was mostly devoid of the corporate lyrics, but in its stead remained a damn good album, and that’s continued here. At times Pros & Cons flirts with the idea, but for the most part the EP focuses on the music. On the agenda today is rock. Lots of commercial 80s hard rock.
Opener House Of Capricorn gives a good account of this style shift. Driving guitar and drums push the song forward while Fallon lets his narrative-led vocals loose all over the song, leading into an incredibly catchy chorus. Neil Fallon, spokesperson for TCB, provided some insight into the song’s lyrical content;
The House of Capricorn is an interstellar flop house. A rehab clinic for forgotten gods and titans. Portions of the lyrics to House of Capricorn are taken directly from the ”orientation program” that plays when a freshman group is introduced to the facility. Some artistic license was taken with the description of the House of Capricorn, but for the most it accurately portrays The Company Band’s time there and their subsequent (and now infamous) failed rehabilitation.
Mixing the heavy riffing of old with a newfound hook-driven sound, it isn’t as strong an opening statement as Company Man or Zombie Barricades, but it’s infectious and easily sticks in the head well after the song has ended.
Black Light Fever features a groovy riff Slash would be proud of, while Killscreen ups the tempo to an almost punk-like speed, probably the most forgettable on the EP, but perfect high-speed driving music. AC/DC, Kiss, ZZ Top, and every other major rock band from the late 70s and 80s can be heard at different times throughout the EP (Maybe even a little Grand Funk Railroad). What it lacks in originality, it makes up for in quality.
Loc Nar is the highlight of the record. Opening with a heavy stoner riff coupled with epic subject matter and a huge chorus. Lyrically based on the film Heavy Metal, Loc Nar is an evil green orb that can be used to rule the world. Obviously much fighting ensues to try and control such a badass artefact. Not to be confused with LocH Nar, which according to Urban Dictionary, involves two fingers up the bum. A stoner’s trippy dream, it’s the closest thing to previous CB efforts and not a million miles away from the kind of radio-friendly stoner that the sword are peddling nowadays.
El Dorado is the grand stadium-rock closer. It’s easy to imagine the crowd swaying while holding lighters. A laid back southern rock sound leads to big power chords, and it’s a fitting closer of an album that takes you on a trip through styles of rock they just don’t make anymore. There are times the AOR sound does get a bit hackneyed, but it’s still entertaining.
The EP as a whole has a confident swagger about it. It isn’t their strongest release, but it’s an enjoyable slab of American rock that harks back to a simpler time. A time when phones were big, businessmen were taking cocaine instead of messing with libors, and all casette was the up and coming format. And if that’s wrong then sue them.
Thank you for listening to this presentation. If you are still not sold, feel free to ask any questions. As a special treat for research purposes, here are Ten little known facts about the The Company Band©, courtesy of Revolver Magazine Ltd.
1. Neil Fallon frequently tours the lecture circuit, specializing in coding and decoding cloak-and-dagger techniques found in aggression-based poetry.
2. Neil Fallon’s beard holds six credit cards and up to 20 separate bills.
3. Jess Margera recently invented a golf cart that runs on beer but quickly ran out of “gas.”
4. Jess Margera has a famous brother, Hector Margera, known the world over for his intricate balloon animal sculptures.
5. Jim Rota owns three light cycles from Tron.
6. Jim Rota created an entirely new grid on the information super highway, suspiciously similar to the fictional Skynet.
7. Brad Davis’ effects company, Creepy Fingers, is developing a new fuzz tone that operates on the same frequency as the spirit world.
8. Brad Davis’ regular work-out routine includes swimming with sharks at the Long Beach Aquarium.
9. Dave Bone holds Olympic medals, Pulitzer Prizes, and other accolades under different names to maintain normalcy in his daily life.
10. Dave Bone ghost wrote the Eagles song “Take It Easy.”