Friday, October 15, 2010

Alain Johannes, Bringing Brilliance Back

Everyone knows how an electric guitar, a bass guitar and a drum kit go together. Alain Johannes' decades-long career has been intertwined with bands like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Pearl Jam. He has worked and played with artists like Chris Cornell, Queens of the Stone Age and Them Crooked Vultures. Maybe it's why his new album Spark is so unconventional. It's like he crafted a brilliant double-stringed cigar box guitar and then set off to reinvent rock and roll.

Track one, “Endless Eyes”, is an amalgamation of noise. He sings with frightening passion to his late wife, “It's killing me that I must go on living”, while the eerie sound of a theremin backs the cigar box guitar. Then track two, “Return to You”, changes the pace with a more jingly strumming, like a mandolinesque, and almost-cheery backup vocals.

“Endless Eyes” and “Return to You” are both free to download, so have a listen or three and then pick up the album. Spark is out now on Rekords Rekords and Mike Patton's Ipecac Recordings—always a boutique of hidden gems scraped off the floor of the American record biz.

Alain Johannes - Endless Eyes (YSI)
Alain Johannes - Return to You (YSI)


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