By Jude Falcon
Let’s begin with how excited I am that this musical cluster called Art of Anarchy is continuing to ROCK in the bitter absence of Scott Weiland, whether you believe he was actually an official member or not. Formed in 2015 with the release of their self-titled album, I had high hopes but they were short lived. Nevertheless, the band pressed on and Weiland’s replacement, none other than Scott Stapp of Creed fame, has joined an entire back-line of distinguished musicians themselves. The prominent line-up includes Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal of GNR acclaim, and John Moyer, bassist of Disturbed and the brothers Jon and Vince Votta on guitar and drums respectively.
The new album, The Madness was released on March 24th 2017 and I highly urge you to get to your local music outlet or iTunes and get you some. You won’t be disappointed.
The make-up of the band really reminds me of how Velvet Revolver’s players were each their own star that came together to make a super group that sadly didn’t stay together. Fast-forward to 2017 and here we are with the current line-up of A.O.A.
The first five songs on The Madness, (Echo of a Scream, 1000 degrees, No Surrender, The Madness and Won’t Let You Down) are ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! Tracks six to nine (Changed Man, A Light In Me, Somber and Dancing With The Devil) take a step back to a softer approach but number ten (Afterburn) brings it back home to give you a good jolt of Rock to send you off to re-listen to the album all over again. I felt like the album itself had a nice arc and balance overall.
The vocals are outstanding and Scott hasn’t lost any steps in the vocal department at all. The overdubbed harmonies are great and really showcase Stapp’s vocal range. The bass guitar is evenly mixed with lots of meaty low-end that lets the listener know that it’s not a Jason Newsted recording. Guitars have great tone and tastefully written solos that keep your attention throughout the songs. Drums are tight and snappy; toms have just enough reverb and the bass drum thuds hard with some double kick for good measure. What more could you want?
The lyrics are jaded, apologetic heartfelt and enraged. I feel that Stapp is using this as an outlet to explain and express just what happened to him in the past few years. I’m sure bipolar disease is no joke for anyone, however when you are a superstar placed under a microscope things spiral out of control quickly.
Stapp was quoted as saying “The guys really just gave me the freedom to do what I feel I do best and what they felt I do best and really let me write the lyrics and say what I wanted to say,” and that is very clear.
The song writing and musical craftsmanship of the songs is something that I admire and really enjoyed about this band. It’s as if you can feel the chemistry of the guys in the recordings, which have a sliver of Nu metal, blended with rock, and polished off with a groove that is pure Pop genius.
Art of Anarchy:
Scott Stapp – Lead vocals
Ron ‘Bumblefoot’ Thal – Lead guitar, backing vocals
Jon Votta – Rhythm guitar, backing vocals
John Moyer – bass, backing vocals
Vince Votta – drums, percussion
Echo of a Scream
Won’t Let You Down
A Light In Me
Dancing With The Devil