Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Admiral Browning - Battle Stations

Starting out a rock album with a song called Riff Crisis could sound the alarm bells, but fear not! The Admiral riffs relentlessly as he sets sails across the Seven Seas.

This Maryland trio has been active for quite some time, actually since 2002 if I'm not mistaken and I have been very fortunate to have seen them live many, many times since moving to the States. And to me they are a band of cycles. They know instantly when it's time to fly under the radar and record new songs while changing up their live set. Always, I say always, these sea merchants come back rejuvenated like a brand new band but they still sound like Admiral Browning in reinvented shape. Therefore listening to Battle Stations that album makes so much sense to me because at the time of it's release this is where their cyclical being had brought them.

Battle Stations as a stand-alone release offer more substance in its total playing time of 37:53 minutes than a lot of bands can produce with their whole back catalogues put together. Instead of cramming their album with a bunch of filler material Admiral Browning goes for quality only and gives us 5 songs of the uttermost highest quality! Apart from a few spoken words in the beginning of Riff Crisis, in Dreams Of Hammurabi and some samples throughout, this is an instrumental release something I have a great affection for...and Battle Stations only increase the affection!

One of my long time live favourites of their songs, Dreams Of Hammurabi, is finally featured on an album. Even though it's been a long time coming, later is better than ever because this epic piece of music defines everything that Admiral Browning are. Just listen and absorb what the band lays out for you! By putting Dreams Of Hammurabi last the band did a very smart move for two reasons. The first is by ending this way it makes me press the repeat button as I can't stop listening, I need to listen to Battle Stations over and over again. The second reason goes hand in hand with the first but on a bigger scale, they leave me wanting for more recorded material because this bloody amazing!!!

Listening to this album the band clearly stay within the box when it comes to creating the foundations of the songs, meaning each song has a solid structure. But like a fusion jazz band the three shipmates -  Matt LeGrow, guitars and effects; Ron"Fezz"McGinnis, bass guitar and voices and Tim Otis, drums - take turns at being the lead or solo instrument. Awesome indeed and this is definitely when they step out of the box, take off on their ship across turbulent, rough seas.

If it takes to be a buccaneer to write and perform music as great as this then Battle Stations should be used as a template for any aspiring band out there, regardless what kind of music they play. Why? Because Admiral Browning are ship folks and they write and play music better than most bands and artists,  so just about everybody thinking about a career in music should not look any further than this band. Listen, observe, absorb and surrender to their music!!!


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