Chuck Garric’s new-ish band, Beasto Blanco, are set to release their self-titled sophomore effort this Friday, 11/25, and we’ve got an early review for you. For those unfamiliar with Chuck Garric, his laundry list of work includes LA Guns, Cheap Trick and perhaps the most iconic name in metal, Ronnie James Dio. Garric is most widely known as Alice Cooper’s bassist since 2002., and as he steps out into his own band, for which he supplies lead vocals and guitar, Beasto Blanco provides a fresh take on some good ol’ fashioned, hard hitting rock n roll.
Considering Garric’s work with Alice Cooper, it seems appropriate that the first single off the upcoming album is Beasto Blanco’s take on the Cooper classic Feed My Frankenstein, a rendition opens with the unfamiliar sound of an acoustic guitar, and it sounds better than Alice has in years and includes the addition of some grungy female vocals – vocals I can only assume belong to Calico Cooper. Yes, Alice Cooper’s daughter – for a refreshing rendition of an iconic rock song.
While Frankenstein was the first single off the album, it’s not the opener. That goes to Buried Angels, in which Garric unleashes his inner Rob Zombie for the first time – an element that becomes more and more present as the album goes on, you’ll understand why later – along with a bombardment of guitar riffs that rank as some of the best I’ve ever heard. Buried Angels sets the tone immediately and forces the rest of the album to live up to the very first song. Spoiler alert: it does.
I mentioned that there’s a heavy Rob Zombie element going on here, not only in Garric’s Zombie-esque voice, but also in the music itself, and that came as no surprise when I learned that the band cites White Zombie as an influence along with Motorhead – two quite excellent influences if I may say so – and those influences become very obvious as we went through the album here at the Soundboard Magazine offices. The Zombie element is very present on Grind, the album’s second track and one where Garric’s voice sounds almost identical to Rob Zombie’s. That’s definitely not a bad thing when combined with heavy drum beats and hard rock guitar riffs that provide the perfect compliment for a grungy voice similar to one belonging to something of an icon.
Skipping ahead little, Dark Matter is where you start hearing more of Beasto Blanco’s other big influence, Motorhead with a slow, melodic rock song that definitely sounds like something Lemmy & co would have done years ago. And then it’s right back to the Rob/White Zombie influence on the next track, Sadhana and that continues right through the rest of the album. The band’s self titled second effort closes with Damnation, which features prominently both major influences in sounding like a cross between a White Zombie song and a Motorhead song, and is one of my favorites on the album for that reason.
Beasto Blanco have done something that is not easy to do in an age when a lot of bands sound the same. They’ve taken their influences and leaned on them heavily while still putting their own spin on those influences to create something unique. That’s pretty uncommon these days, and for Chuck Garric and company to be able to harness the White Zombie influence into something all their own while still putting forth a great album is pretty special. Beasto Blanco quickly became one of my favorite bands with their second album – I’ll admit I never heard their first – and I’m genuinely hoping they come through NYC in the near future, though it doesn’t look like that’ll be happening given their tour schedule has them in Europe through the early part of 2017 and then a few US dates down south as they gear up for the Monsters of Rock cruise.
What I do know, though, is that it’s been a long time since I’ve heard a legit hard rock band that puts it all together in this age of selling out to sell records. Beasto Blanco is a breath of fresh air in an age where the air is polluted by egotistical rappers and pop “stars”.
01. Buried Angels
03. Feed My Frankenstein (Alice Cooper cover)
05. Death Rattle
06. Dark Matter
08. I Rise
09. Machine Girl
11. Blind Drive