Mt. Desolation, Mt. Desolation [Cherry Tree and Interscope]

Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin describe the vibe of their Keane side project as country, and while it is awash in the richness of Rice- Oxley’s trademark melodies, Mt. Desolation is actually more Coldplay than Hank Williams.
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Tim Rice-Oxley and Jesse Quin describe the vibe of their Keane side project as country, and while it is awash in the richness of Rice- Oxley’s trademark melodies, Mt. Desolation is actually more Coldplay than Hank Williams. Nevertheless, some hallmarks of classic country music remain: lovely, haunting melodies, sweet harmonies, straightforward lyrics, acoustic timbres, and of course, the omnipresent root–5 country bass line. Although Andrew Lowe doesn’t get much space to stretch out, his upright and electric bass playing is eminently appropriate for the genre, and for this collection of wonderfully crafted, melody-driven songs. —BENJAMIN LEVINE


The New Golden Age Of Metal, The Complete Interviews

Yes, there really is a cartoon character on the cover of the April 2010 issue of Bass Player. But that’s no ordinary animated dude; it’s William Murderface of the quantruple- platinum, über-brutal metal band Dethklok, an act so big that their record sales can affect the economies of major Western countries for good or ill.

BPRecommends : January 2010

Wayne Krantz Krantz Carlock Lefebvre [Abstract Logix] Guitar beacon Krantz takes his longest-running live trio (Tim Lefebvre and drummer Keith Carlock) into the studio with striking results. Given the ability to enhance the unit’s rock-funk explorations via overdubs of everything from acoustic guitar and spot vocals to all manner of manipulated effects, Krantz delivers a landmark outing. Lefebvre’s P-Bass is the perfect sonic and musical compliment throughout, from the soul-hop of “It’s No Fun Not to Like Pop,” and the trippy “Wine Is the Thread,” to the punk-ish “I Was Like,” and the industrial-strength “Left It on the Playground.” (CJ)

Sharlee D’angelo of Arch Enemy

I think it’s great actually that people are getting interested in musicianship as such again – especially the guitar players, you’d be amazed by how fast they are, and their technique and everything. And some of them, you give them a few more years and I think someone will probably come up with stuff even better. So I think it’s a good thing. People start out playing a lot of technical stuff and then after a while they’ll probably slow down a little bit and just use whatever musical abilities they have to go to the next level.

Byron Stroud of Fear Factory

I find a lot bass players – especially [bassists who] played with Devin before me – they're like guitar players that play bass, or just come along and start playing bass. I think I brought a different thought process to it. I came in as a bass player, and musically that's about it. But I bring in a lot of [the] business side of things too. A lot of bands, especially with Strapping, didn't have any kind of business direction, and I came on board and definitely helped with that.

Converge: Axe to Fall [Epitaph]

From the opening punk/ metal, bass-and-drums, 5/4 runaway-train beat of “Dark Horse,” you know you’re in for a frightening ride from metalcore pioneers Converge. The band might not be typical BP Recommends fare, but Axe to Fall contains a performance from longtime bassist Nate Newton that’s just too vicious and unique to go unnoted. Guitarist Kurt Ballou doesn’t go for generic metal crunch, instead choosing an extremely distressed vintage tone, leaving ample room for Newton’s wildly overdriven bass to maraud and wreak general havoc. The kind of distortion in Newton’s tone is more aggressive, treble-y, and flat-out terrifying than perhaps anything this reviewer has ever heard; the combination of low-end boom and high-end shatter sounds like a huge pane of glass in the process of exploding. The bass actually feels dangerous. Song forms are short, challenging, and loaded with tricky time changes—but the ethos is far more punk than metal, the ban

Richard Bona: The Ten Shades of Blues [Decca]

The blues in the title of Richard Bona’s sixth solo effort refers more to the key notes in the folk music of all cultures that reach people’s hearts than to 12-bar progressions or lamenting lyrics. In his pursuit of this ethic, Bona undertakes his most ambitious merger of world music elements, yet the rewarding result is his most cohesive disc to date. Credit this to the Cameroon native’s ability to harness his considerable skills as a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, orchestrator, and storyteller in service of the song. While on the surface this means neither bass solos nor big-name jazz guests, the quality is layers deep if the ears are willing. “Shiva Mantra,” recorded in Bombay, combines Indian instrumentation and incantation with powerful vocal hooks blanketed in warm fretless support. “African Cowboy” is an astute alliance of afrobeat and a bright country two-feel with prominent banjo and fiddle. A pair of elegant ballads, “M’Bemba Mam