Well, 2018 is certainly off to a strong start with new metal and rock material. First up for new album reviews this year is the enigmatic Ty Tabor’s stunning new solo album ‘Alien Beans.’ A double disc adventure through funk, metal, melody, balladry, emotion, technical guitar skills and sheer bad assery.
Ty Tabor has always seamlessly mixed all those elements together to create his original sound. And also a huge portion of what King’s X does. But here we are focusing on Tabor’s solo outings. Now, with a lot of his solo records there’s usually a focus on one of the elements of Tabor’s sound. For example ‘Safety’ relies heavily on the classic melodies and harmonies of Tabor’s sound. ‘Something’s Coming’ is more focused on the blues rock riffage while adding melody. And ‘Balance’ is very ballad oriented, with the exception of the two opening tracks.
But this time around Tabor has found a really nice medium. And has made one his most consistent and satisfying releases in years. And that’s saying something. The album is mostly focused on Tabor’s ‘rock’ side. The album simply rocks. A slew of catchy, original riffs, infectious rhythms and chords. The albums opens with a classic, short Tabor guitar moment entitled ‘Alien Beans’. The album by the way is named after his studio located in Kansas City.
Then the full songs start. The first disc comprises of new material. ‘Freight Train’ and ‘Johnny Guitar’ both soar with heavy Tabor riffing. I love how Tabor dips the riff down with perfect vibrato on the chorus for ‘Freight Train’. Then a mid-tempo ballad ‘So Here’s to You’ comes in with such strong song writing it makes you wonder once again ‘How is this guy not a huge radio pop star? Selling out arena’s the world over?!’ Then we get heavy as hell with ‘Back It Down’. The low, dark, sludge riff mixes uniquely with Tabor’s British Invasion style vocals. Think Korn with George Harrison as their lead vocalist Then ‘Somebody Lied’ comes in with a classic southern guitar feel that’s straight from the 70’s. But it still feels fresh and modern with Tabor’s unique take on the genre. Plus, there’s a bit of cowbell excellence.
‘This Time’ brings back the emotion which makes one stew in anger for the fact that Tabor isn’t a household name. ‘Heavily Twisted’ keeps the balladry going strong. It’s a pretty unassuming title. You think that it’s going to be some crusher but it’s in fact a ballad that reflects inward on ones internal struggles. ‘Until This Day Is Done’ starts with a unique sounding drum solo of sorts. Then it moves into a groovy syncopated rocker with of course, lots of melody. And one hell of a guitar solo. Tabor’s ability to write with feel and also play with extreme technical skill is pretty much unmatched. The disc closes with ‘Deeper Place’. A tender ballad that brings out the yearning feeling within all of us. It’s the beautiful chord structure, along with the lyrics that create such a strong feeling.
The second disc comprises of remastered material from previous solo outings. And I gotta say it really works. It’s not just some left over second disc to try and get more money out of you. And he chose his best songs to put on the disc. Some his most bad ass riffs and tracks. Along with a few ballads. The songs that really stand out with their remaster are ‘Money Mouth’ and ‘Blame It (Cause We Believed)’ from the ‘Balance’ record. They really have a full, thick sound which really benefits the two tracks. Because they’re such great riffs and the remaster brings out their power even more. And the songs from ‘Nobody Wins When Nobody Plays’ really benefit. The original album seems a little thin in the production at times. But ‘Change’, ‘Fast Asleep’, the title track and ‘Senseless Paranoia’ have had a little make over and now live up to their full potential. And the tracks from ‘Something’s Coming’: ‘Politicians Creed’, ‘Free Yourself’ and ‘Bring It on Back’ sound better than ever. Which is great because those are three of Tabor’s best riffs.
Overall I’m giving this album four and half out of five stars. The quality is consistent. The album is long and quality all the way through. The remasters really work and the new material is some of Tabor’s best in his entire solo career. If you don’t know Ty Tabor or King’s X, this is actually a good place to start. It’s pure. Pure Tabor, pure X. Get this album! And remember: ‘Every Good Trance Ends with A Hoedown’.
Bringing in the dark shit.
Amazing acoustic feeler.
Great remaster job.