Author Topic: Good musicians in meh bands

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Dincrest

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Good musicians in meh bands
« on: April 13, 2018, 10:36:04 PM »
I was thinking of something, based on some recent discussions I've had with folks here in The Soundroom.  There are a handful of musicians who I think are great at their craft, but play in bands that I'm not really into. It hard sometimes, because it's like being in a relationship where you really like your significant other but can't stand his/her friends and/or family. 

So, yeah, who are some folks you think are great musicians, but you don't really dig the bands they're in? 

My examples:

Ryan Martinie- bassist of Mudvayne.  RyKnow is an excellent bassist who utilizes some insanely creative playing techniques to create interesting sounds without the use of effects pedals.  But aside from kinda liking their LD 50 album, I simply could not get into Mudvayne.  RyKnow is awesome and drummer SpAg held it down, but the guitarist clunked around like worn out car suspension and the vocalist's screams lacked conviction and his clean singing lacked power.  I would totally check out a Ryan Martinie solo record. 

Winston McCall- vocalist of Parkway Drive.  Parkway Drive is a 100% mallcore band, but their vocalist is really good.  His cleans are as strong as his harsh vocals, and he displays a wide variety of growls, roars, and screams with good diction.  I can actually understand most of his words without clamoring for a lyric sheet.  I haven't listened to much Parkway Drive, but what I did hear was very by-the-numbers, generic riffing and songwriting.  I felt like the dynamic vocalist- generic band was a mismatch.   

Michael "Padge" Paget- lead guitarist of Bullet for my Valentine.  BFMV has always been a trendy flavor-of-the-month band since its inception, but what actually made their earlier material (like their "The Poison" album) put a little dent my metal-elitist-snob armor was Padge's fretwork.  Whenever the band did twin-guitar melodies, Padge's were always what drew my ear.  And his solos were pretty scorching.  He is BFMV's ace in the hole, but I sometimes wonder if his creativity is stifled by the band's follow-the-current-trend musical direction and songwriting.  Their latest song "Over It" is so formulaic and it feels like he had no real part of its creation.  If Padge did a solo record, I'd check it out. 

And this next one's a "maybe" because though I was lukewarm on the band's prior material, their new stuff is good. 

Heather Michele- vocalist for Graveshadow.  I first heard Heather's singing on Helion Prime's debut album and was impressed by her powerful varieties of clean singing, her fantastic vocal range, and she was no slouch on the occasions that she growled.  However, she parted ways with Helion Prime in favor of her other band Graveshadow, but them's the breaks.  Anyway, while her performance was excellent in Graveshadow's 2014 EP and I could tell the other musicians had skill, I felt that the riffing and songwriting were very by-the-numbers.  However, what I've heard from their new album (which dropped today) is really good, so they may be in the running for "most improved band" and I may have to remove them from this here list of "I dig you, but I don't dig your band."
 
« Last Edit: April 14, 2018, 07:29:45 AM by Dincrest »
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D-Rider

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Re: Good musicians in meh bands
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2018, 12:18:46 AM »
One band comes to mind immediately.

I've always found Nightwish to be thoroughly mediocre, but Floor Jansen is a fantastic singer and I'm glad she's in a band that actually makes money these days.  Marco Hietala, their male vocalist/bassist is also mightily talented, and I enjoy his work OUTSIDE Nightwish quite a bit.

Dincrest

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Re: Good musicians in meh bands
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2018, 09:26:45 PM »
In a similar vein, Alyssa White-Gluz is a far better vocalist than is shown in Arch Enemy, who have grown increasingly stale, musically.  Her work with The Agonist is far more dynamic. 

Oh, another one I just remembered.  Matt Rubano, bassist of Taking Back Sunday from 2003-2010.  That band was the most generic emo tripe out there, but Rubano was a fantastic bassist.  Dude was a Berklee grad, did tons of session work with top-notch musicians (like jazz guitarist John Scofield), basically he's an elite level musician who was way too good for such a lame band. 

EDIT: Another biggie is that forgettable late 80s/early 90s rock band Mr. Big.  Bassist Billy Sheehan was easily a far more advanced musician than anyone in that band and he is one of my favorite bass players.  His body of work outside Mr. Big is where it's at.  He's still very actively playing like a thunderous beast, and everyone else in Mr. Big went nowhere. 

Oh, and I may have to put drummer Ray Luzier in there.  I became an instant fan of Luzier's complex and technically proficient drumming after hearing the Hideous Sun Demons: his jazz-fusion project with bassist James LoMenzo and guitarist Toshi Hiketa.  Luzier now plays for KoRn.  I stopped paying attention to KoRn after their third album and think their material since then hasn't been as inspired. 

You know, I could cry foul all I want about some of these folks sold out or whatnot, but from their perspective they could say they sold in and laughed all the way to the bank while their bands were moneymakers. 

EDIT: Another one I remembered was when John Corabi replaced Vince Neil for that one Motley Crue album.  When Motley Crue let Vince Neil go and hired John "Crab" Corabi as their new frontman, they traded up given that Corabi was a far more talented musician and songwriter than Vince Neil.  They created one of the best albums, if not the best album, in the band's discography.  But that nearly destroyed the band's career because it wasn't the Motley Crue fans knew, loved, and were familiar with.  Had they named the band with Crab something else, it would have been praised as a fantastic piece of hard rock, but because it was Motley Crue, it was unfairly panned because it wasn't the fans' expectation of Motley Crue.  And after reading Motley Crue's "The Dirt" and learning the story of how Crab saved the show when John Corabi Band toured with Vince Neil Band and Vince Neil was too intoxicated to even stand, that man showed more integrity and professionalism than I've ever seen in a musician.  If any rocker deserves to come up roses, it's Crab.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2018, 06:30:53 PM by Dincrest »
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Frostillicus

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Re: Good musicians in meh bands
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2018, 10:20:39 AM »
Oh, and I may have to put drummer Ray Luzier in there.  I became an instant fan of Luzier's complex and technically proficient drumming after hearing the Hideous Sun Demons: his jazz-fusion project with bassist James LoMenzo and guitarist Toshi Hiketa.  Luzier now plays for KoRn.  I stopped paying attention to KoRn after their third album and think their material since then hasn't been as inspired. 

Agreed on Luzier. I've been very impressed with his drumming on the KXM albums. Korn is a waste of such talent. I think it's hilarious that Ray dons emo eye makeup to play with them. Obviously not his regular look.
Hell, David Silveria was also too good for Korn (probably something he eventually figured out).

I also have to mention Chad Sexton, drummer of 311. One can tell dude can really whale on their early albums. One would never know these days.
The rest of the band is so meh. ...I guess P-nut is an alright bassist, though. I'm a sucker for slap bass (unless it's done poorly... looking at you again, Korn).

Also, Sahaj Ticotin from Ra. Damn, that guy has a voice. The rest of the band isn't (wasn't.. are they still a band?) necessarily meh, but Sahaj definitely stands out.
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