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CD REVIEW: Fatback Circus - Fatback Circus
By Cyrus Rhodes - 06/22/2011 - 01:58 AM EDT

Artist: Band: Fatback Circus
Album: Fatback Circus
Label: Independent Artist
Genre: Alternative Rock
Sounds Like: Maroon 5, Led Zeppelin, Radiohead
Technical Grade: 10/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 9/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Overall Talent Level: 10/10
Songwriting Skills: 9/10
Performance Skill: 9/10
Best Songs: Dust Bowl Blues, Need You, Baby Don’t Leave Me
Weakness: A few winded musical experiences, extended intro & outros, what year was this released?
CD Review:

Austin based 4 piece Fatback Circus releases their fourth CD. Not sure what year it was released because there is no date anywhere on the actual CD packaging. Band members include Nathan Campbell (Vocals & Guitar) Aaron Campbell (guitar) Dalton Chamblee (Bass) Garrett Ross (Drums)  

The CD kicks things off with “Angell-ess” a dynamic intro piece that serves up driving rock rhythm, infectious guitar ambiance & Progressive Rock type flair.  Track 2 “Dust Bowl Blues” shifts gears a bit with a steady flowing rock vibe against ambient guitar rhythms, & hypnotic vocal groove from Campbell. This coupled with the amazing peak & valley effect of the song coupled with mesmerizing lyrical content makes for an interesting musical statement. Track 3 “Baby Don’t Leave Me” serves up naked acoustic ditty against well placed percussive accents, eventually lending itself into an impressive ballad that flows & ebbs its way through to emotional fruition. Right from the start you will notice rich progressive rock textures overflowing everywhere, full of passion, variety, & strong melodic structure. The songs themselves are addictive, & packed full of interesting lyrical content & subject matter. The music is rather hard to pigeonhole. I can hear many different musical soundscapes reminiscent of classic psychedelic jam band acts such as Led Zeppelin, Cream, & even Grateful Dead but with a modern sound reminiscent of Maroon 5 & even Radiohead. The music itself is an impressive blend of alternative, acoustic, & alternative rock but with a psychedelic flair. What I like most about the music is Nathan Campbell’s voice & Aaron Campbell’s solo guitar work. From upbeat “Baby Don’t Leave Me” The CD ends with “Robe of Gold” a perfect finale statement for a CD of this caliber. From hypnotic “Woman” to grooving “Jesus Marie” & Let It Go” to heartfelt “Need You” & “This guitar” this CD has something for just about everyone.

I usually dedicate this paragraph to weaknesses. I don’t have much to report. I will say all songs over 4 minutes in length tend to drag you to the finish line. In classic jam band form some of the intro & outros are a bit winded in an extend play format. Once again I’m not sure what year this CD was released because there is no date anywhere on the CD package. Very unorthodox.

Fatback Circus is an impressive musical production from top to bottom. The music is clean, goes down smooth, & the messages are highly creative & are sung from a passionate perspective. It’s strong suit – the amazing creative genius of Nathan Campbell. He possesses enough musical talent & songwriting prowess to be dangerous. The musicianship of this 4 piece is first rate, the songs are short and sweet musical experiences. Each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. So if you like music that combines A 70’s Psychedelic sound with modern day & Alternative Rock – Fatback Circus belongs in your hands right now.   

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