Ron Thal of Bumblefoot was promoted to me as the greatest guitar player of all time, and from the opening guitar-riff, you can see why someone would say this. It is very similar to what Hendrix would do. While he is not "The Master", he certainly is amazing. His guitar playing ability is limited only by his imagination, and that's not much of a limit. His music is very creative, and much of it is very funny. Drunk is a great example of this. The way he describes vomiting in the song is incredibly amusing, and his sarcastic use of the phrase "I love getting drunk" epitomizes the great use of humor in the song.
If you are looking for more than just humor, he of course provides very thoughtful and high quality songs in Hands, and Tuesday In Nancy. I'll let you interpret them for yourselves, since you can now hear the entire songs on this website, and you'll agree that they are well-done and intelligent.
I'd have to say my favorite song on the CD is either What I Knew or Shrunk. I've caught myself singing the chorus for Shrunk repeatedly lately. "I don't need all your therapy. I'm alright without your insight. I was fine till you took my mind - that's when it SHRUNK!" What I Knew begins somewhat like a Rage Against The Machine song, except with better guitar playing. Then it gets slightly less aggressive, but stays just as good.
Ron Thal shows more of his range of vocal abilities in the vengeful song Dummy. He sings like the lead singer or The Red Hot Chili Peppers, and does so very well. You feel almost like you're listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but then he changes style, and you realize he's not some cheap imitation of a great band. He too is great. Just showing off his abilities, like he should.
Two other songs worth noting are Vomit and Noseplugs. Noseplugs is a hilarious song, talking about someone's bad breath. It's ruthless, and very funny. Vomit, is actually a very intelligent song, despite the title. It touches on the subject of growing up, and people who cause pain. All in the all, the CD is a must have for anyone who is a fan of Rage Against The Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, or any kind of good rock music. Ron Thal is the type of musician who proves that some of the greatest musicians are INDEPENDENT, and that it is still possible to be original and great both.
To purchase "Hands" by Bumblefoot, go to the Bumblefoot website at www.bumblefoot.com . One final note on the CD. There are two hidden tracks. The one about the cactus is definitely amusing enough to find. You'll have to buy the CD to hear it, though.
- Gary Milholland