Barbarize 2-Alone Star
"Barbarize II - Alone Star" is a perfect follow up to their first album "Can't Hold Me Back". It has been a few years but is definitely worth the wait. Al Barber has a powerful, gritty voice that captures your attention and his delivery is convincing and real. The songs really rock with twists and turns to peak your imagination. There is a strong Bowie influence throughout but notably in the title track, Alone Star, and the strong groove oriented track Taken Out to Pasture. "Sounds like the Doors" may have been how Can't Hold Me Back was frequently described and rightly so. The comparison could still be made, mainly because of Al's voice, but the band has gone beyond and distinguished their own unique sound. The musicians are just fantastic, weaving a sonic web of energy, feeling and originality. Walter Chatman III and Timm Cash on guitars, Willy Nothem on keyboards and Ralph Ortiz on Bass are rock solid, delivering outstanding performances. Al Barber is the engine driving the band. He wrote, arranged, and produced all the songs. " I like to add between the lines. Make a song interesting. I love it when someone stops the CD and rewinds to listen again to something that caught their ear. Mainly subtle yet discernable pieces of the musical puzzle". Barbarize is a rock band. But within the rock genre they touch on many different styles. Santana is a Latin feel instrumental with strong percussion (Al is a terrifically talented drummer and percussionist). Walter Chatman's guitar work is, on this and all the other songs, something that must be heard. Rock & Roll Blues is, well, bluesy. Once again Walter's guitar sings. The other guitarist, Timm Cash's originality shines on the syncopated Going Out Tonight. He is exceptional. They even came up with a new word.........Konkachoo? Don't ask me? We made it this far without saying that Willy Nothem can really tickle the ivories. Well he can. His playing seems to almost be a second melody perfectly tucked into the fabric of the song. His piano work on Perfect Harmony, I'm Free To Go Anywhere, Alone Star.........wait a minute! Let's shorten this up a bit. Willy is one hell of a piano player. His run at the end of Mary Mary sends chills down my spine. Yeah! Ralph Ortiz on bass. What a great feel. A drummers dream. He drives the bus on I Liked It Then I Like It Now. Barbarize is a great band. Al Barber is one of a kind. This album is a fine arrangement of songs beautifully delivered and ready for consumption.