Wednesday, March 16, 2011

John Elefante & Mastedon - Revolution Of Mind

John Elefante & Mastedon
Revolution Of Mind
(c)2010 Independent

When three of the original four guys that had a major impact on the sound of 90's Mastedon, John and Dino Elefante and Dave Amato, with Anthony Sallee added this time around, I thought to give this strong consideration for download. I'm quite happy to say the digital purchase matches the gut feeling. Being very moved by the post-Kansas sound that John brought to the table on "It's A Jungle Out There" (1989) and "Lofcaudio" (1990), plus witnessing their '91 performance at Cornerstone, taking a trip down memory lane has been welcome diversion from some of the current musical landscape.

The current version of Mastedon is a bit wiser looking around the edges, but these guys can still rock. There's a significant nod paid to the prog-rock of the 70-80's, but the band backing John's vocals is tight and fresh. The title track kicks the disc off with a tight-hooked rocker complete with a solid guitar solo. Elefante's vocals sound just as fresh as when I first heard him with Kansas, circa early 80's. Much attention is given to the overall mix, with vocals and harmonies standing out. "Nowhere Without Your Love" has a classic rock ballad vibe, extremely akin to Kansas, gracing the ears as it begins with a sweet solo electric guitar, then a full frontal vocal delivery. "One Day By The Lake (See You Real Soon)" clocks in at 10:43 and relives all the glory of 70's prog rock, except it's telling the story of redemption. "Water Into Wine" is a fast-paced blues rocker, but sounds a bit out of place with the vibe of the disc, yet a good song nonetheless. "Questions (It's About Time)", a song to the church largely about how we treat each other, musically leaves me wanting more. "You Can't Take Anything" sounds like a dated 80's power rock song, and would fit better on one of Elefante's solo softer rock discs. "Lying" is a good song lyrically for those in need of conviction from sin, but again feels stuck in an 80's groove. "The Western World" has a Hammond B organ/gritty blues vibe that works well beneath John's voice. "That's What You Do" finishes the disc strong with some orchestral accents thrown in with a power rock front lending support to the melody.

All in all, not as memorable as their previous out of print discs from a decade ago, but a wiser, nobler brand of seasoned formula rock that proves older guys can still create decent rock and roll. Maybe it's not fair in comparing then and now, but it's difficult to forget the early 90's after experiencing them at a point in time that was significant in this "Christian rock" scene.

8.5 of 10 clicks
March 2011

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