Fourth Estate

See What I See

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Resembling a cross between late-'80s hair bands and Jimmy Page's Outrider album, this trio creates a grandiose rock epic on See What I See. Lead guitarist Dave Beegle directs the songs through, but the rhythm section is just as vital. "Poet's Lament" has a Middle Eastern and Indian component to it, but also a Southern rock portion in its beginning. The orchestral chants sound more like filler on the song and add little. Led Zeppelin is another noteworthy comparison, as the winding sonic landscapes show. Fearless of following an idea to its conclusion, the band nicely wraps the track up. The title track is a play-by-numbers arrangement that seems ideal as a theme for Saturday afternoon sports programming. The conclusion is perhaps its only saving grace, as all three musicians build to a pulsating crescendo. Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop seems another staple Beegle was nurtured on, as "The Hammer Song" has a funky and almost space rock feeling to it, changing gears throughout. Bassist Fred Babich appears to have a prominent role here. Often the band relies on this groove to transmit their energy across, not the meticulous dexterity Joe Satriani or Steve Vai are more than capable of. Taking the mood down a notch or two on the melodic and breezy "Blue Flame," Fourth Estate couldn't pull this off more than once on an album, but it's good nonetheless. "Dadgad" is a stellar track, moving between a funk groove and progressive rock. Regaining its energy midway through only propels it further along an adventurous route. "Taste of Heaven" evokes images of David Gilmour's first album in its tempo and simplicity. The album's coda is an eight-minute track that is performed in three parts. "Kara Kum" begins with a brief Eastern-influenced guitar riff in part one, "Mirage." The second portion, "Ten Days Lost in the Sun," sounds like a snake charmer at times, but it's Beegle's guitar doing most of the work. "Shadow of the Dune" has a distinct flair to it à la No Quarter, the album by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page.

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