Released by: Soul Whiskey Records
Release Date: Out Now!!!
4.Be With Me
6.Pretty Little Monster
8.Bacon And Eggs
9.Shake a Little Something
10.Fun Gone Bad
Sometime ago I reviewed a CDR of THE PH PROJECT, a Long Beach, California, USA based project formed around producers/guitarists/songwriters PAUL KAMINSKI and HUGH VAN DER LINDEN (who also plays keys by the way), and I told them to put their music out on vinyl because it sounded really great! And guess what, because they did press it onto vinyl and kindly sent me a copy of their lovely first vinyl album! All I can say is WOW!!! It sounds amazing and without a doubt, this is going to be one of my favorite vinyl albums of 2023! Anyway, THE PH PROJECT consists of many more musicians besides Paul and Hugh, because also on board are vocalist/bassist CHRIS PAUL OVERALL, drummers ANTOINE ARVIZU and DREW MCGARITY, guitarists ROBBIE ALLEN and MIKE GLINESS, bassists MATTHEW JACOVIDES and STEVE MCNEIL and organist R. SCOTT. Slow Burn is the first official album they have released and it is definitely one you need to check out, because the included music is of a very high level. The vinyl record sounds sensational as well, while the packaging is also really nice, as it is a gatefold LP with all the lyrics and pictures on the inside. 12 songs are included in total, and opener Slow Burn is a fantastic slowtempo rocker that combines strong melodies with a great sorta bluesy groovy guitar riff that also throws in a sorta prog touch (KING’S X meets LIVING COLOUR!).
As already mentioned in an earlier review of THE PH PROJECT’s music, the lead vocals are truly superb, and they make the difference here, because Chris Paul has an amazing voice with a relaxing tone that just give that extra needed soul into the music. The guitarwork is also phenomenal, and all together the picture is perfect here musically speaking. Also following track Mountain is a superb (midtempo) melodic rocker with a catchy chorus and a fantastic guitarsolo. Shine slows things down to a very emotional level, because this is a lovely powerful AOR ish ballad with once again the wonderful melodic vocalwork and also some nice dramatic piano parts to give the song a boost into classic power ballad heaven. Next tune Be With Me takes a slight turn into classic late 80s uptempo melodic hardrock/hair metal heaven, including a VAN HALEN guitar riff and a catchy bridge and chorus in the FIREHOUSE style! As you can see there is a lot of diversity going on here! Next Time is for example an THE BLACK KEYS meets LED ZEPPELIN kinda groovy retro bluesy midtempo rocker, and on vinyl it sounds really sensational! Pretty Little Monster closes side A of the vinyl record, and this is a great slowtempo KING’S X kinda rocker that will also appeal to the progfans out there I think.
Side B opens with The Hammer, a groovy bluesy guitar riff dominated rocker that has again the THE BLACK KEYS similarities, although the chorus is really massive in an almost 80s Metal kinda direction (DIO/ACCEPT meets I Love Rock N Roll-JOAN JETT), while following Bacon And Eggs has a cool AC/DC guitar riff, yet the song itself is a late 60s bluesy rocker that as the song progresses shows again what an amazing singer Chris is, but also the guitar parts really kick ass! Shake A Little Something is up next, and this is a really nice 60s inspired uptempo garage/MOD rocker like early THE WHO and THE KINKS. Fun Gone Bad is a strong catchy uptempo melodic rocker with a powerpop feeling of the early 80s (THE KNACK/THE CARS). Secret Place is a groovy modern retro soulful bluesy tune that would make JOE BONAMASSA, MARCUS KING or KENNY WAYNE SHEPHERD very jealous I think, and finally Detroit Song closes the album in a calmer semi melodic bluesy rock direction with a killer chorus, and basically this is just another superb tune!
Concluded, we have something really special here, because there is so much going on this vinyl record. It feels like a trip down memory lane to all kinda of rock decades, from the 1960s until now. I can only say to you to get yourself a copy of the record, because you will NOT be disappointed at all! One of the biggest surprises of 2023! More info at: https://thephproject.bandcamp.com/
Written by: Gabor Kleinbloesem
Ratings: Gabor 9/10