BUMBLEFOOT - Forgotten Anthology (2003 Hermit inc.)

Bumblefoot, also known as Ron Thal, comes back with a new album which is also an old one... It features several tracks which were thought to be released in previous Thal/Bumblefoot cds, but for a reason or another, didn't make it to the official, final release.
Old is a track which should have been released in Hermit, Thal's second release. You can clearly hear it, as the dark feeling you get from it reminds clearly of that grungy, moody album... Even the solo reflects Bumblefoot approach to lead lines in that period. The song has a cool riff and a solo that I love. The vocals have a touch of Alice In Chains that I've always heard in Hermit too.
Thought I could Fly is another 1995 track. The sound and the style tell it all. Hermit and Hands ( see the review for this last, 1998 album: 10/10 ) are in my opinion Bumblefoot best albums to date, so these songs, left out from these ones, sound so good to me. Also, if you like Creed, this song has some vocals alike.
Apathy is another one from 1995 sessions. Same style, cited 'too negative' from the label which rejected it. Sounds very grungy, but in a more inventive way. Ron Thal was one of the few who managed to be influenced by the grunge style, without becomin' a Nirvana wannabe. The approach remains personal (and yes, technically there's not even a possibility to make a comparison...). Another raw, angry solo: how I love those ones!!!! =)
Shell is the last one from this bunch of songs. Slow, moody one. Unhortodox chord progressions. The man says he wants no rules in his music, and man he did cancelled them all =)
Great nervous bridge before a slide solo. These are the solos which made me mad tryin' to transcribe them!!! Thanx Ron for a new bunch of them! =)
Meat is from sessions for the album which should have followed Hands if the drummer (Jeff, Ron's brother and GREAT drummer) of the band (Named Bumblefoot for the first time) wouldn't have left. Man, that would have been another 10/10 album if that's the direction it would have followed!!!! Raw, angry guitar with crazy, f@*ed up guitar!!! That's all I need! =)
Next is Day To Remember. Great riff. The usual, twisted one you would expect from the man. Why Jeff did you leave the band?????? Hey Bufoo, do you have some more tracks from those sessions to send me? Hi- energy improvised solo with the dissonance and furious vibrato and bendin' we need!
Bagged A Big One is one of the best song of the whole cd. I love it for the same reason why I loved Hands: Ron fuses diffrent styles in his unique way. He puts out this funky muted whawhaized line while singin' and becomin' angry while he kicks into a distorted chorus. Great guitar everywhere. Not as great as the belch in there, but great...
Mine was also featured in Uncool french release, not on the final international one. So Bumblefoot thought to put it in this forgotten anthology. Sick track, that's for sure! And sick solo too!
Heart Attack is a great orchestrated track!!! The man is a truly accomplished musician!!! Very melodic too. Love the part at 2:00!!!! Great great great.
Girl Like You was also on the french release of Uncool. The change in style is once again destabilizin', to say the least. But the man shows he has a natural ear for melody, and is a good good singer too.
Check that line at 0:57 too!!! HAHAHAHA!
Crunch is a funny funny song, also on that french cd. Jazzy gangster riff, but then the chorus... Man leave me alone, 'cause you're dangerous. Listen to that solo... Hey Ron, how many styles can you play?
Maricona is another track in that vein... Lounge music for y'all!!! You need to get drunk if you want to sing this song... Great piano solo. Great second part of the song, with funky lines and scary backing...
She Knows was intended to be on Uncool, but wasn't finished in time for the release... Great melodic track, with cool arrangements. Bumblefoot is a complete musician, he is prolly one of the few who can truly, really, honestly, completely and greatly do their job. This is a great song. Nice nice solo too!
Myth is also from 1999. It's in the Uncool style. That latin influence was so strong back then, but then the man sounds also like Korn. In the same song. Impossible? Go take a listen!!! =) What's so cool in this album is that you have the possibility to hear Ron's evolution as a musician. He was more energetic, raw and angry in his first compositions, then he kind of turned his hands towards melody and more complex arrangements.
Gettin' older and wiser? Dunno, prolly I'll tell you when I'll see him with white hair and dangerously baldin'... =)
A Way Out was written for 9.11. Rappy vocals over a cool riff. Great line at 0:48. Cool chorus. So the man IS still angry??? =) The latin stuff is still there, fusin' with all of Ron's background. The solo is in the line of Bumblefoot latest releases.
Wasted Away is also from the sessions for 9.11. Cool vocals again. These last songs fix themselves in your head and will never leave, while Ron's first releases needed more than a listen to be assimilated, but once you got them, you'd love them to death. Which one is better? It's up to you to decide which approach you like best... But man, what about lovin' 'em both???
Mafalda is the only instrumental song of the compilation. If you're not a guitarist, you'd better not listen to this. And, if you are a guitarist, you'd better not listen to this!!!! =) Crazy, over the top guitar, very very unhortodox, pushin' the boundaries. To me there's also melody there, but then I'm not a normal guy, so ... =)

One of the best Bumblefoot albums. Great way to follow a musician's evolution through the years.
From his crazy, over the top, angry early production, to his well-rounded latest releases.
It's a shame that there's no stuff from the 'Adventures of Bumblefoot' sessions. Highly recommended.

Rating: 9-1/2