This is the first of what will probably be a regular thing here on I Heart Guitar. I work in the Melbourne CDB three days a week (the other days I get to work from home, woo), so my morning and afternoon commutes are typically my time to zone out and listen to music and/or read a book. Some days I get more time to do this than I would like, with Melbourne’s train system providing alarmingly sporadic service following the recent heatwave. But that’s not a matter for this blog. I’ll save my rants about public transport for muttering under my breath while walking home in 42 degree celcius heat, which happened one day last month.
Today on the way to work I listened to Queensryche’s 2003 album, ‘Tribe.’ Although it’s certainly not their most well-known recording (with both ‘Operation:MindCRIME’ and ‘Empire’ sharing the ‘Alec Baldwin’ status in their back catalogue I imagine it’s hard for the other CDs to feel like anything but Billy Baldwyn or, worse, Stephen) – I think ‘Tribe’ is one of my favourites. It has heavy minor-key grooves, big Geoff Tate vocals, a kind of dry, punchy production, and probably best of all, contributions from the band’s founding guitarist Chris DeGarmo, who left following their ‘Hear In The Now Frontier’ CD (which I didn’t really like at the time but now kinda dig). Tracks co-written by Degarmo are ‘Open,’ ‘Desert Dance,’ ‘Falling Behind,’ ‘The Art Of Life’ and ‘Doin’ Fine.’
For the record, I think my favourite moment on the album is when Tate, in a boomy, resonant baritone that reminds me of Henry J Waternoose from Monsters Inc, says “Sequoia trees” in the title track. This dude could read the instruction manual for a dustbuster and make it sound epic.