Review Summary: Looks like they do still make music like they used to....
There are some records that can be likened to a virus. Once the notes enter your ear, they attach themselves to and subsequently inject its DNA into each of your cells and before you know it, you’re infected. Pinnick, Gales, & Pridgen are a super trio consisting of:
• dUg Pinnick - Bass and Vocals (King's X)
• Eric Gales - Guitar and Vocals (Eric Gales Band, Lauryn Hill)
• Thomas Pridgen - Drums (ex Mars Volta)
Who with the release of their self-titled debut have made a strikingly virulent album certain to penetrate any preconceived notions of progressive rock you may hold and infect your very soul. The three men mesh in a way so few supergroups do (*cough* Atoms for Peace.. *cough*) to the point where if you found out they were all brothers playing together for 30+ years you wouldn’t bat an eye.
This is an “old-school” rock record from start to finish. Pinnick, Gales, & Pridgen
artfully combines progressive rock, progressive soul, blues, among many others in a fusion of sound that can’t be called innovative but can definitely be labeled as fresh. The main contributor to this feeling is the lefty virtuoso Eric Gales who displays exemplary skill and writing ability in his instrument as well as his voice. The guitar tone and playing style immediately brings comparison to greats like Jimi Hendrix or Slash. Fantastic riffs and tasteful, intricate solos are his calling card through Pinnick, Gales, & Pridgen
and they’re used freely and without restraint. Pinnick’s bass is no mere background instrument either. He dances adroitly with Gales each playing essentially the lead instrument in the record. While he doesn’t exactly display outright technical wizardry (like he no doubt can provide), his instrument is more than viable and best of all just as audible as the guitar. The drumming on the other hand is the primary thing keeping this album from crossing the blurred line of a 70’s throwback album. Pridgen’s time with the dual dictatorship of Omar and Cedric has culminated in a varied and technical style which he supplements with a bluesy/jazzy edge which fits in with this fusion of rock extremely well.
At many points throughout the album, the band really piles on the groove. Songs like the single, “Hang On, Big Brother “and “Angels and Aliens” show that there’s more to being aggressive then screaming and blast beats while the disturbingly attractive riffs of “Greatest Love” or the succulently meaty “Lascivious” have groove practically dripping off the bone. Gales vocals seat themselves in the deep end of cool. Much of the soul present in Pinnick, Gales, & Pridgen
are belted in the low baritone of his voice that would make B.B King proud. The progressive styling of Pinnick, Gales, & Pridgen
also serves in creating a cohesive experience for the listener. There is a vintage aura that permeates and gives the album a different kind of fun factor most others plainly don’t have. There is also a strange, warped feeling of déja vu emanated as while the feeling of hearing this music before is present, there’s something about the way it’s arranged, the way it’s delivered, the way it just rocks
that holds attention. That’s the infection.
Pinnick, Gales, & Pridgen
is a mammoth example of vintage progressive bliss. The amalgamation of blues, soul, rock, hell, even psychadelia creates one of the best super group debuts in recent memory. Describing this record as doing anything but rocking
would be an insult to the sound captured by these three. One listen to the trio’s cover of Cream’s “Sunshine Of Your Love”, will be all one need to hear to know the that this better not be a onetime thing. Fans of no frills rock-n-roll and progressive music would be hard-pressed to find many things wrong with Pinnick, Gales, & Pridgen
. They’ll be too consumed by the infection to do so anyway.