The John Entwistle Band

Music from Van-Pires

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When you buy an album by the John Entwistle Band, you want to get the full effect of Entwistle's bass prowess and not have it buried in the mix. The keyboards almost drown out everything but the vocals ("Rebel Without a Car"). The CD has a Faith No More feel to it, with heavy metal pop ballads and over-flanged guitars and bass ("Darker Side of Night," "Good & Evil"). Other numbers like "Sometimes" are weaker than a wet paper bag occupied by a boulder. It would work well as the sound bed for an aerobics video. Entwistle doesn't break completely loose with his bass playing until the last few songs on the album. For most of the CD, he opts to play the same parts as the guitar. It's not until a track such as "Endless Vacation" when he throws aside his safety net and forces the listener into submission with a heavily fuzzed bass solo. Mountain guitarist/vocalist Leslie West also appears to lend some beef to "Don't Be a Sucker." West's vocals add a gruff punch to the music that howl like a whisky-soaked, Faces-era Rod Stewart. Probably the most attention-grabbing aspect of the disc is the song "Bogeyman." Entwistle blew the dust off this oldie that he recorded as a demo for the Who back in the 1970s. It features a guest spot by the late Keith Moon on drums, and it has a slight 1960s Who feel. This holds especially true in the narrative presented by Entwistle, which almost reaches the same peak as a classic like "Boris the Spider," with lines such as "don't pick your nose at the table. Go straight to bed, that's very rude." Even though there are a few standout tracks, the album is not what you expect from a bass legend.

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