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Aldertone - Aldertone

  by John Clarkson

published: 21 / 12 / 2005

Aldertone - Aldertone
Label: Captive Ring
Format: CD


Rewarding experimental rock on self-titled debut album from Aldertone, the drum and bass solo project of Russ Aldertone, the bassist with New York hardcore trio the Wobblies

Aldertone is the drum and bass solo project of Russ Aldertone, the bassist with New York hardcore trio the Wobblies. There is always a danger with minimalistic, largely instrumental solo projects such as Aldertone that they may quickly sound monotonous, but Aldertone neatly sidesteps this problem on his eponymous debut album by using three different drummers, each with a radically varying delivery, to help mould and create his bass experimentations and meanderings. Michael Hoffman, the drummer with the Wobblies, has garnered a reputation over the years for being fiery and indeed the opening track 'Tanx' on 'Aldertone', with its grinding and menacing swagger, could easily be an outtake from a Wobblies album. As was hinted at for almost the first time with some of the latter tracks on the last Wobblies record 'How It May Be Lawful and Fitting...', the Wobblies, however, also have a softer and gentler side, and Hoffman's two other contributions, 'Anacondas' and 'Royal Cormorants', are in comparison dreamy and hazy. Dave Hower, who also plays with Northampton, Massachusetts four piece Spanish for Hitchhiking, is more jazz orientated, and his shuffling, jittering drum work on 'Scramble' and 'Glare' in particular do much to develop a genuine sense of claustrophobic nervousness and tension. Tom DeVito, the last of the three drummers,has played in various New York outfits, and, the only one of the three drummers to also use percussion, gives the album a poppy element. The cranky, peppery 'Vortex' is under laid by him with a rumbustious pop beat, while 'Distance in Miles' culminates in a powerful joust between Aldertone's swirling bass and De Vito's rattling, niggling drum rolls. 'Aldertone' is certainly an acquired taste, but those, however, who enjoy experimental and noisy rock will find it both a lively and a rewarding experience.

Track Listing:-

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