Evan Brewer - Alone
26-Jul-2011 Label: Sumerian
Produced by Evan Brewer
Reviewed by Sam Radojcin
When it comes to musical technicality, you either love it or hate it. There really isn’t a middle ground. But once in a blue moon, there comes a release that embraces technicality yet has enough to keep the casual listener interested. Enter Evan Brewer, the new bassist for Californian tech-death outfit The Faceless. He has just released a solo album entitled Alone with a unique angle – everything is performed solely on bass guitar. There is no guitar, drums, keys or vocals. Only bass. Intrigued? Read on.
Alone opens with a 4+ minute composition entitled "Actualize" that is driven by an upbeat slapping and popping percussive bassline while a melodic passage plays alongside. Then the track segues into a beautifully finger picked piece mixed with aural shifts and waves. The beauty about the material on Alone is the level of intrigue it raises. It’s hard to fathom that all of this is played on just bass guitar and the technical skill that Brewer possesses to pull it off.
"Vertigo" has a science fiction feel with a dominant driving line that builds with an atmospheric counterpoint that sounds like a computer creating a solid balance, "Looking West" is beautifully melodic and is sure to invoke some sort of image in the mind. "Contraband" and "Degenerate" have so much insane slap bass and tapping that they could make Les Claypool or Billy Sheehan sit back in awe. The closer "A Climate for Change" draws from the jazz fusion territory and contains the most subdued pure bass playing on the album. But the crown jewel of Alone is "Currency". This track is performed on two bass guitars simultaneously and never ceases to amaze.
Combining lots of different influences with the purely amazing skills of Brewer makes Alone quite an captivating album to listen to. Of course, musicians (especially bassists) will definitely enjoy what they hear but a more casual ear may be enticed by the fact that this is done completely on bass guitar and could be an inspiration for future players. The focus has normally always been on the guitarist, but now it’s the bassist’s time to shine.
4. Altered Perspective One
5. Altered Perspective Two
7. The Decline
9. Looking West
10. A Climate for Change
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