Sound — 10
The list of musicians the members of this band have worked with is impressive -- Ozzy Osbourne, Bruce Dickinson, Faith No More just to name a few. Now they have joined their forces to make their first record. Bernie Torme, John McCoy and Robin Guy became GMT (by the first letters of their names) and released an album called Bitter & Twisted, out the November 2006. The title says it all and makes you think of something as raw and heavy as gin and tonic. And the music pretty much meets your expectations! The first chords and pounding drums of the opener Cannon Ball set the tome for the whole record. And it doesn't get any milder even in the ballads as the music is a mix of hard rock and metal! There's a great intention in every song; the music is so powerful that it's almost unbelievable it was born in between just three people. It definitely has something to do with the chemistry! The pearl of the record is undoubtedly Irish Guitar Legend Bernie Torme with his creative ideas and dynamic guitar work while McCoy and Guy make a solid backbone. Being inspired by Jimmy Hendrix in mind, Torme creates awesome virtuous guitar riffs, his solos sometimes are so high-pitched and fast that it almost hurts your ears. Just those guitar licks may be the reason the album is worth to be listening to. There's something interesting to be found in every one of 11 tracks. A lot of songs tend to sound anthemic, like Rocky Road that could became the pirates' anthem have it been written a couple hundred years ago. Raspy guitars make a creepy atmosphere and Torme's yelling Hey, enough of your shite/ Buy me another pint invites to start a rebellion. There's an unexpected turn towards the end of the album in Summerland and Deireadh An Samhradh -- very like The Doors or some psychedelic band from the '70s -- 8-minute songs with the next one being the end of the previous, guitar sound experiments, thunderous drums and a child talking to finish it all... So weird that you wonder if it's still the same band.
Lyrics — 8
Sometimes they are as straight as a baseball lumber, like You can bang your heard until you're dead in Can't Beat Rock N Roll. But more often they are philosophical, using metaphors to describe the feelings. Summerland, being one of the strongest songs on the record, may be a perfect one with lyrics too. As well as it's music, the lyrics of Summerland are very pathetic with a hint of philosophy. If I could fly like the angels do/ I'd be long gone out of here looking back at you makes you think for a while. And I've never heard someone being so upset because Summer has almost gone. Again, it's a very deep subject if you take is philosophically. I'd love to say that Bernie Torme is the best rock vocalist I've ever heard. Sorry guys, but he's not. He's definitely an outstanding guitar player, but when it comes to singing he's just normal. He knows the right approach, but the significant vocalist expected from the band of this level is missing. During the most intense parts it seems he's singing at the edge of his abilities. The vocals loose to the background of Torme's own guitar playing.
Overall Impression — 9
Being produced by Torme and McCoy, the first collaboration of trio appears to be very solid when it comes both to composing songs and the way they sound. Bitter & Twisted might seem a bit monotonous after you first hear it, but give it a few careful listens and you'll get hooked. The record is a disaster, it storms your ears, exploring with every next song. The CD created a lot of buzz around it and got the best possible reviews even before it was out. Despite of the fact those kinds of things rarely work out with the record turning out to be a complete crap, with Bitter & Twisted you won't be disappointed.