Ya know, there’s something to be said for being proven wrong about a band. When I first heard longtime ALICE COOPER bassist Chuck Garric’s BEASTO BLANCO three years ago I hated almost everything about them. I hated the name, wrote them off as a ROB ZOMBIE wanna-be, and I hated the debut record Live Fast Die Loud, giving it only a 3/10. So, when my dear friend Kevin at PFA Media asked me if I would like to check out their new self-titled record (November 25, Rat Pak Records) I didn’t have the heart to tell him that I figured it would suck balls, and I was only checking it out as a favor. Never have I been so happy to be so wrong. This album fucking rips, and has a ton of great stuff on it!
Now look, the WHITE ZOMBIE sound is still prevalent on some tracks, but it sounds way better than it did in 2013, and the one-two opening punch of “Buried Angels” and “Grind” is like a sonic kick to the balls. This is the kind of shit you put on in your buddy’s apartment while you’re pre-gaming, or in the car on your way to a bar on the Sunset Strip for a night of shots, especially “Grind.” ALICE’S daughter Calico Cooper sings in this band, and the back and forth between her and singer/guitarist Garric on “Feed My Frankenstein” is kind of sexy, which is usually not the vibe I get from this song, but still…it’s kinda cool.
My absolute favorite, and my one of my multiple-REPEAT tracks though, is “Carcosa”. That fucking chorus is so delicious, and the guitars ringing out behind it just elevate it to being one of my favorite songs of 2016. No, I’m not kidding, this tune is THAT good! “Death Rattle” finds the band locked into this dirty groove, bordering on the sensual. Drummer Tim Husung and bassist Jan LeGrow get their hands good and dirty while Garric and fellow guitarist Chris Latham do a musical striptease with their licks and solos. And around the 3:00 mark Cooper lays down some come hither vocals, just driving the point home further.
Now we come to my other favorite in “Dark Matter”. Much of this one is simply Chuck singing cleanly in a low register and some dark synth behind him, and the ambience is perfect when you hear it. On my first spin I played the shit out of this one, and I continue to do so now. At 3:00 the band kicks in and whoever’s playing guitar lets fly with this incredible solo that had my neck and arm hairs standing on end. “I Rise” is a snarling, riff-heavy affair, and “Machine Girl” has this in-your-face, “Get the fuck outta my way!” attitude going for it.
“Blind Drive” has some more tasty riffs and whiskey-fueled vocals, while closer “Damnation” is more of an electronically-enhanced rock stomp. Like I said, I’m glad I was wrong about BEASTO BLANCO, and I recently got the chance to tell Chuck Garric as much in an interview (stay tuned…coming soon). He actually thanked me for my honesty. This is like an NFL team going 2-14 one year and making it to the playoffs the next, that’s how big the turnaround in this band’s music was for me. Consider me a BEASTO BLANCO fan from here on out, people. And you all should be, too!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Grind”, “Carcosa”, Dark Matter”, “I Rise”, “Death Rattle”, “Buried Angels”