GENTLEMAN BASTARDS – IN THE MIDDLE EIGHT – THE HIGHLANDER COMPANY RECORDS
Bassist/songwriter/producer Bob Madsen (41Point9 etc.) was wondering what would happen if you attempted to mix Disturbed with Level 42 style bass with vocals, so brought together some friends to attempt to make that a reality. Here he has been joined by guitarists Chad Quist (41POINT9, Heart by Heart, etc.) and Billy Connolly (Pushing the Sun, Alchemy of Sound), along with singer Randy Scoles (Ronnie Montrose Band, Rogue), and drummer Gregg Bissonette (David Lee Roth Band, Ringo Starr’s Allstars). The result is three songs that are highly polished and sound as if they have been produced by a band who have been together for years instead of just a small amount of time. There are huge swathes of the title cut where it is just Scoles and some keyboards, so when the rest of the band crunch in it makes quite an impact.
What immediately strikes the listener from the first note to the very last is just how much fun this is, and when the “Life In The Middle Eight” just stops as it does, I found I was actually disappointed! But at least that allows us to move into the much heavier “Victims and Villains” where one can really hear Madsen’s dream being brought to life, with Scoles doing his best to show off his Hagar-style vocals (no wonder he has been playing with Ronnie, would love to hear him do “Space Station No. 5”. The only thing wrong with this EP is that it is way too short! Bring on the album guys, we need to hear more, much more.
8/10 Kev Rowland