Sound — 8
Not quite stoner' rock but certainly raw, dirty rock n roll, The Company Band's eponymous debut, which features Clutch's Neil Fallon on vocals, CKY's Jess Margera on drums, Fu Manch bassist Brad Davis and Fireball Ministry's vocalist James Rota on guitar here. The Company Band are anything but polished; in fact, they are just the opposite. There's almost an intentionally sloppy, we're here to have fun vibe on many of the songs. And by sloppy we don't mean ill-constructed; we just mean that the songs don't fit in a box and spill all over the place, with the sole purpose of rocking your face off. There's lots of riffy goodness on songs like It's a Confusing World and Hot Topic Woman," but there's a lot less guitar distortion than you'd expect. All's Well in Milton Keyness is a slow, yet thunderous ditty that can create an altered state of consciousness through sound alone. You might go into this record expecting a whole lotta fuzz but it's there in spades.
Lyrics — 8
Fallon's gritty vocals could put hair on your chest. He's not as gravelly as he has been on recent Clutch albums, but he's every bit as manly as per usual. Hot Topic Woman is a fun, bar-ready jam that every Company Band fan will dedicate to the hot chicks and broads who can throw back a brew at the local watering hole. All in all, Fallon and his cohorts are having a good time, without being too serious or too frivolous on this self-titled platter. Where a lot of side projects with high profile members come across as disjointed or loaded with filler, The Company Band isn't trying too hard to do anything but bring the rock. Yes, that's the pursuit of the bands that the members come from, so The Company Band are indeed just trying to further the cause of rawk.
Overall Impression — 8
If you are a fan of Fu Manchu, Clutch, Fireball Ministry and CKY, then it's a smart wager to bet that you'll be digging on The Company Band. Surprisingly, the members' individual bands don't get in the way of what The Company Band is doing, which is pooling all their talents into a unique, new product that possesses elements of the other bands but isn't just more of the same, either.