Alcohol | Grain

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by Alcohol

Explosive Modern Rock. Heavy and powerful with a unique twang.
Genre: Rock: Modern Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. On My Mind
4:03 album only
2. Catch A Ride
4:18 album only
3. One Moment
3:32 album only
4. Gone
2:37 album only
5. Old
2:23 album only
6. Next Time
3:29 album only


Album Notes
Alcohol, Grain (© 2000 Earth Blood Music)
by Bill Ribas ,"StreetBeat"

Imagine for a second Mountain's "Mississippi Queen" stopping and suddenly breaking into the Beverly Hillbillies' theme song. That's kind of the attack found on the opening cut, "On My Mind." A wicked, heavy guitar riff gives way to a country bluegrass thing, and you're stunned, but the absurdity of it makes sense (don't ask me how), and it's toe-tapping fun. Are country bluegrass and heavy metal kissing cousins? Hey, call a library or a museum and ask somebody, I'm too busy having fun here. And though there are only six songs, it's all good. Frontman John Piser can rip riffs on guitar and banjo, and has a nice gruffy snarl in his voice when he needs to use it.

In the end, it's that weird mix of genres that lifts the disc above others, and I'm still trying to get the connection. Hey, if it ain't broke...

Alcohol ~ Grain
By Les Reynolds,

Alcohol is a band based in New York City that plays hard rock country.

Say that again.

New York City. Hard rock country.

Somehow, the two don't seem to go together -- especially since the country element sounds more like bluegrass with the clever infusion of the banjo. Banjo? Yup.

"Grain" is a rather short (six tunes) CD that defies tradition -- well, actually, takes components of two established styles and melds them into one interesting sound!

It's hard to compare these guys with anybody else. Think Metallica in overalls and clodhoppers? Country music delivered with a flame-thrower? The Southern rock vocals of the Marshall Tucker Band or Molly Hatchett? Maybe bluegrass powerhouse John Cowan? And there's even a darkness you could associate with the Old Joe Clarks.

If that's confusing, it's because classifying them or comparing them is difficult to do.

One thing that is pretty clear is that Alcohol is a good name for this group. "Grain" is an appropriate title because it's all delivered straight and with a kick. There's lots of power chords and a steady rhythm section.

One other theme this CD follows is the quick-change -- from heavy to easy, bluegrass to rock and rock to country, emphasizing electric guitar one moment, banjo the next, picking up the tempo then slowing down -- all in one song. "Gone" is a good example of this, and "Old" goes the extremes with a machine-gun start and a few seconds of pure steel guitar on the outro.

A marked contrast to the overall rock scheme is the final track, an excellent toe-tapper called "Next Time" (which marks DiGiulio's drum appearance). It starts out with crisp banjo and weeping pedal steel -- instrumentally akin to the popular ''70''s group Pure Prairie League and vocally like New Grass Revival.

Lyrically, there are some typical country lyrics. And, at heart this group seems to be country, although they've generally chosen to deliver the words with the power of rock. Piser writes, From "Next Time,"

"My life's a mess, I know. Some days I get up, some days I don't My woman left, I know. She said some days she love me, and some days she don't I have a chance and I can try. One more day. I'll make it next time.... And I don't regret nothing. All that I ever did was the best I could."

If Alcohol continues doing its best, they should keep brewing up more great recordings.



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Big River News

Good solid record!
Nice, refreshing, different, all these adjectives sum up this record. Buy it now and say " I got it off Cd baby man"...