First off, full disclosure: I work with ZoSo, for whom Bevan Davies is now the drummer. Bevan is widely known for his work with Static-X, Still Rain, Madfly, Comes With The Fall and Danzig. That said, I don’t work with Bevan in any way outside of ZoSo, and I’m not obligated to review side projects from members of the bands I work with, in fact I’ve never done so until now. That’s because one listen to Bevan’s album brought me to so many different musical places that I could feel what he was aiming to do with this work.
Bevan Davies was made, purely and simply, for Bevan to give a nod to some of the most influential artists and songs in his musical life. He duly credits the artists for the inspiration and motivation which led him to his drumming life: “The songs I’ve chosen here are a nice mix of the stuff that wass bouncing around in my head when I was a kid. In other words, here are some of the direct influences that caused me to pick up a pair of drumsticks for the very first time. Additionally, there are influences on here that drove me to continually improve my craft over the years.”
The resulting album is one that caught me by surprise. An eclectic group of songs, really, but cohesive in a way that gives me a respect for Bevan’s tastes and talent. Assembling an impressive crew of musicians to record the songs with him proved to be the hardest part of the project. “Trying to schedule everyone in the studio was hard, definitely the biggest challenge. It made the recording process a lengthy one, but it was well worth it.”
Guest players on the album include Brent Hinds (Mastodon) and William Duvall (Alice in Chains) Nate Utz (The Blondz), Tuk (Biters), Roy Cathey (The Fifth, Cold Sweat), and Angela Wolfe (Dirty Polyanna).
Don’t dig in to this album expecting major artistic twists with the songs he covers, instead Bevan pays homage to the songs by recreating them as they were originally recorded. “I wrestled with the ideas of “modernizing” or “beefing up” certain things here and there, but ultimately I decided these faithful recreations were the way to go. I couldn’t see the point of sharing my influences with you if I was going to go in and play things differently. That approach is certainly cool on plenty of “covers” albums, but that’s just not what I’m doing here. This is my tip of the hat to the drummers and songs that shaped me.”
Why I love this album: Bevan’s song choices are excellent, and bring me back to many of my own musical memories. It’s as if he took the originals and dusted them off, giving us shiny new versions of each song. And his drumming skills are off the charts, just a pleasure to listen to. Finally, the talent that worked with him on the album help make this one that I’ve already listened to over a dozen times, and will keep in my regular listening rotation.
Tracklist for Bevan Davies
01. Kill The King
02. Light Up The Sky
03. Rip It Out
04. Time Of The Season
07. Strange Days
08. High Wire
10. Ready An’ Willing
11. Bad Reputation
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