Five Star: A look at albums
that are so good that they impress even the most cynical of critics. Very
few albums are superior enough to obtain a five star rating but occasionally
a band slips through the river of mediocrity that is the modern music industry
and they produce an album that restores our faith in the future of rock!
This series is a look at such albums.
What do you get when you put the former
Soundgarden and current Pearl Jam drummer Matt Cameron together with original
Monster Magnet guitarist John McBain? For one, you’ve got a great subject
for a press release and instant hype. But as far as “super groups” go,
you can look beyond the hype immediately and get right down to the substance,
because this is a band that doesn’t rest on their resumes but instead concentrate
on the music and the end result is one of the best releases of 2003.
Since the band made their debut in 1997,
they have released an album every two years like clockwork. The lineup
changes slightly from release to release but Cameron and McBain have remained
at the core of the group. This self titled album, released by Megaforce
records, marks their forth installment in the conspiracy.
The group evolved from another band Hater,
which released an album on A&M in 1993. But don’t let that former band
or the members other band’s fool you, Wellwater Conspiracy sets out to
make their own name and stakes their own musical claim. It’s not what you
would expect when you hear who is in the band and that actually makes the
music more attractive.
You won’t find the droning guitars of grunge
here, instead you have a band that harkens back to the late 60’s psychedelic
pop and Cameron and McBain pull off a beautiful magic trick by bringing
the past to the present. On one hand, the songs sounds like well crafted
pop gems but they also carry a jam band feel with a loose easy flowing
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t 60’s pop
in the tradition of “Sugar, Sugar” but instead it’s more experimental feel
lands in the territory of side two of “Abbey Road” or the albums tracks
from 60’s era records from The Who.
The opening track, “Wimple Witch”, is a
pretty straight forward rocker but the real brilliance starts with the
second song “Galaxy 265”, which will transport you right back to the Summer
of Love. The rest of the album takes you on a musical journey that
captures that same spirit that made the late 60’s rock sound so damn cool.
But Wellwater Conspiracy also manages to interplay their pop inclinations
with a freeform feel and each song weaves a bit of a different design onto
the bands music tapestry that taken apart really differentiate themselves
from one another but also manage to sounds like part of the same big picture.
With this album Wellwater Conspiracy really
standout from the crowd and while you aren’t likely to find music like
this on mainstream radio, this is one of those albums that when you first
listen to it, you feel like you’ve uncovered a little musical treasure.
I can keep telling you why you should buy
this CD but I won’t. On the other hand, I can’t think of a single reason
why you shouldn’t buy it, especially since the tide of music this year
has pretty much ridden a low wave but Wellwater Conspiracy have come along
with a tsunami in the middle of the rather timid musical storm that is
rock in 2003.
Posted by dj johnny blue13:
Posted by Engine #9:
A Great listen and nobody knows it and a Petty Cover whats better.
Posted by Just a fan:
When any member of Pearl Jam is making music... you're pretty much guaranteed its going to be excellent music
Posted by Dr Fever:
Why, thank you aG. My "seriously good taste" will be on display for all to see next month when I give you: "Dr Fever's Big Ass Look Back At 2003." You can bet, Wellwater Conspiracy will get mentioned ;) hahaha!
Posted by aG:
See that's why I love Dr Fever. The dude has got seriously good taste!
Posted by Dr Fever:
This CD is friggin great. It's been in heavy roation both at work and at home since the day I got it.