Sadly, I’ve been out of touch with the music scene over the past few years. Most of that has to do with a) my new affinity for talk radio, and b) most new music really, really sucks.
Alter Bridge is bringing me back.
Thanks to my buddy Frank, I’ve seen the light with Alter Bridge. In a world of off-pitch screamers, hard-rocking gurglers, and weak, cookie-cutter riffers, and thumb-twiddling guitar soloers Alter Bridge is combining real talent with great rock songwriting, and it is good.
For those that don’t know, Alter Bridge, in one respect, is Creed without their crazy lead singer Scott Stapp. But that’s not really fair, cuz they are tons better than Creed ever was. Mark Tremonti, guitarist and head riff-meister, is still cranking out the arena-rock-meets-Metallica tunes. And the pocket of Scott Phillips (drums) and Brian Marshall (bass) is solid but nothing to write home about. But what makes Alter Bridge so freakin’ amazing is lead singer/guitarist Myles Kennedy.
Think David Coverdale (Whitesnake, Coverdale/Page) meets Geoff Tate (Queensryche) with a twist Jeff Keith (Tesla). Myles has a voice that soars like the blackbird he sings about, is the more melodic lead guitarist between Tremonti and himself, and, best of all, looks, sounds, acts and rocks like a lead singer should.
You might recognize his earlier work as Marky Mark Wahlberg’s replacement in Steel Dragon at the end of the movie Rock Star.
Frank, his brother Brandon and I went to see Alter Bridge here in Dallas at the Palladium back in October. I was shocked to see how easily Myles translated his vocal acrobatics on the album to stage. He didn’t miss, and I’ve never seen anyone sing as high as he does as easily as he does. The guy rocks, the songs rock, and the band rocks.
Their new album, Blackbird, is one of those rare records that has a minimum of 5 can’t-skip songs. The first 4 rock pretty hard, but for me, the real meat starts around track 5 and lasts through track 10.
The video below was filmed at the concert I was at. I’m sure a clearer version will be coming out (update – here it is) (it was shot professionally for future video use), and when it does, you might even see us close to the stage. This isn’t my favorite Alter Bridge song (that probably belongs to “Rise Today” – see second video below), but it’ll give you an idea of what they’re all about.