|Comments:||Review by Jan Hanford:|
Bach as rock? Rock musicians have been incorporating Bach's melodies into their music for decades. Jethro Tull, Keith Emerson, Procal Harem did it, as well as many others. Now, this band has decided to do something new: play it as written. And they do, with every single note intact. With impressive musicianship, they present accurate and intriguing interpretations of several familiar Bach works. Once you get over the intial shock of rock drums being added to the counterpoint of distorted guitars this cd becomes fascinating and enjoyable. Many of the melodies here are some of the most famous in the history of music and it is really fun to hear them played so uniquely and so well.
The fact that they can play these pieces with such speed and accuracy on guitar really is impressive in itself. Beyond that, they have given each work its own "rock" personality, with flourishes of drumming and their own brand of "rubato." Some tracks work better than others but none of them are bad; it is a polished and energetic performance. As expected, they are adept at the fast passages. But a surprising bonus is the musicality of the slow movements. Air on a G String is especially nicely done, the equal to any mellow guitar solo on any rock record. For me, the stand-out tracks are the Fugue No. 2, Air on a G String and the Toccata and Fugue in D minor (a natural tour-de-force in anyone's repertoire).
Some Bach purists will be appalled, of course. Let them. As far as I'm concerned, any rock musician who loves Bach enough to work this hard to present an energetic, personal and original performance as good as this deserves to be heard and taken seriously. This cd will not replace your favourites of these pieces; it wasn't meant to. It's fun! These guys are having a great time and you will too.
(Recommendation to parents with kids who listen to bands like Van Halen: Buy them this cd. They'll love it and you'll get to hum along!)