GRINDER BLUES (dUg Pinnick) – Grinder Blues (2014)
Not having enough after delivering this year an incendiary record with KXM alongside guitar monster George Lynch, bass pumper dUg Pinnick returns with a new band called GRINDER BLUES and its self-titled debut.
After 30 years of blazing a pioneering trail through progressive rock and metal acts such the essential King’s X , dUg Pinnick brings his distorted bass grooves and soulful vocals into the realm of the blues, the ‘heavy blues’.
His new trio’s debut album focuses on Pinnick’s unique interpretation of blues bass, as he blasts overdriven licks in the low frequency of drop C tuning.
Grinder Blues is completed by the highly regarded EMMY award winning duo The Bihlman Bros: drummer Scot Bihlman and guitarist Jabo Bihlman.
“Grinder Blues” is of course firmly blues based… but make no mistake, this is rockin’, heavy blues of the first order. The band’s self titled debut is powerfully raw, blistering, earthy, with attitude and sharp edge.
Most the songs tuned down to C and that gives an extra heaviness to the songs here and you’ll feel it in your bones and in the deepest part of your soul.
The unmistakeable vocals and deep bass tones of Pinnick are ever present and mix that up with Jabo’s dirty, chicken scratch guitars and sweet wah-wah solos aplenty, you have a tasty Blues brew worthy of anyone’s money.
There’s full on, kick-ass rockers such as “Don’t Go Home” and “Wild One” where Pinnick evokes the spirit of Hendrix with feedback-driven licks and gospel-esque vocals.
“Burn The Bridge” hint towards dUg’s previous material, spot on vocals over the backing refrain of the chorus and all is driven by some tasty bass runs going on.
But it’s the likes of “Train”, “Worried Mind” and “Woke Up This Morning” where the band truly shine, songs where the trio really seem to channel traditional blues with proto hard rock through their collective veins.
“Worried Mind” sees dUg and Jabo standing at the crossroads selling their souls to the devil, with Jabo picking a lonesome riff in parallel to the vocal melody. Images of run down shacks, cotton fields and smoky bars spring to mind and it’s all in tones of sepia, of course.
The title track itself is a slow groove that skulks in the dark waiting to pounce, laced with dirty, whiskey fuelled guitar licks and sweet vocal harmonies whereas the upbeat “Train” rides along to an actual train beat and choppy guitars, a story of how dUg’s step-grandfather came to a sticky end on the wrong side of the track. Great song, there’s sweet backing vocals from the brothers on the ‘he was hit by a train’ refrain, a bass breakdown to the train beat as Jabo weaves intricate guitar lines between Scot and dUg’s epic workout. Thrilling stuff.
“Grinder Blues” claims to be nothing more than a straight out bluesy Classic Rock record, but believe me, it is not another tired old retro album. It’s vibrant, with a real sense of urgency and tongue in cheek lyrics, and due to this it sounds live and fresh, the sound of tres hombres in a room in Las Vegas with just a guitar, a bass and a drum kit, playing their hearts out and having fun doing it.
The raw emotion that filters through the music that this trio generate is enough to channel into anyone’s soul, and make them nod in appreciation.
So, if you are after a fresh Classic Rock record that not only compliments the past and the roots of the blues, but also embraces that which came after it, then you could do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of “Grinder Blues” as it sounds good, it sounds real good.
01 – Don’t Go Home
02 – Wild One
03 – Burn The Bridge
04 – Grinders Blues
05 – Train
06 – Worried Mind
07 – It Ain’t Easy
08 – Woke Up This Morning
09 – Chuck Berry
10 – TX To CA
dUg Pinnick – vocals, bass
Jabo Bihlman – guitar
Scot Bihlman – drums
BUY IT !