Altitudes and Attitudes, a project of David Ellefson and Frank Bello, released their debut full length album, Get It Out on the 18th of January.
Originally formed in 2010, Altitudes and Attitudes were a touring vehicle to lead workshops and bass clinics for the amp manufacturer Hartke. Bello and Ellefson found they clicked well and decided to write original music for those clinics. Thus began the story of the band. Now 9 years later, with one self titled EP under their belt they release their debut full length. Altitudes and Attitudes are a band rooted in thrash metal history. David Ellefson is of course the long serving bassist of Megadeth. Frank Bello is the bassist for another of the “Big 4”, Anthrax. In Altitudes and Attitudes, Bello looks after vocals, rhythm guitar and bass while Ellefson also looks after rhythm and bass. To complete the band they are joined by Jeff Friedl on drums. Jeff is the drummer in yet another iconic band, A Perfect Circle.
Despite that thrash pedigree, this is 100% a rock album. It also stays very much in the rock camp, never veering towards their signature sound. Get It Out has 13 tracks on it equating to around 47 minutes of music. What you get are a lot of good, but not great, rock songs. There are impressive guitar and bass skills on show coupled with mid tempo drum beats and low toned, clean vocals that have a bit of a rough edge.
I found the album to be a bit of a mixed bag overall. There are some very bland songs but also some very cool ones. Perhaps tainted by a love of thrash, or guitars in general, I definitely enjoyed the tracks which make good use of lead guitars over the more balanced ones. In fact my favourite is probably the instrumental, Leviathan which is 3 minutes of slow tempo soloing and melody. The guitars on Get It Out, lead anyway, mostly come from guests. Big names like Ace Frehley (ex-KISS), Gus G (ex-Ozzy Osbourne, Firewind), Christian Martucci (Stone Sour), Jon Donais (Anthrax), Russ Parrish (Steel Panther’s “Satchel”) and Nita Strauss (Alice Cooper) all feature. They really make the album for me with some cracking guest spots.
At the opposite end of the scale is Tell the World. A song that just meanders along slowly until you are on the verge of nodding off. Album opener Get It Out has a bit more fire in its belly. The drums are a little fuller and faster and there are some cracking riffs, a strong chorus and stronger solo. I really don’t like the song Late but then it has a great solo, even if it doesn’t fit into the song so much. Part of Me has a bit of bite again with up tempo drums and edgy vocals but is followed by another song I’m not keen on. This time it’s Slip. It has a poppier feel to it. Despite a bit more bass in the intro, it doesn’t take off and it is quickly forgettable.
The hazy ballad of All There Is passes without capturing attention before Booze and Cigarettes picks up the pace a little and brings a catchy chorus and grooving riff into the mix. The closer, Here Again is strong too with a hard rock feel. Quicker vocal delivery helps as does the meatier drums. The riffs are great and the guitar line separating each verse is cool.
That’s really how the whole of Get It Out went for me. A song I liked followed by a song I didn’t particularly care for. Get It Out is a good album but the reasons I favour metal over rock are the reasons I don’t think it is great. I find myself waiting for a song to take off. Waiting for a blistering solo or a pounding riff. On here it isn’t meant to come and so it doesn’t. I still find myself wanting it though. For the rock fans out there, this album should go down a treat. It is solid enough. For me, it is just a little too boring at times. A little safe and unoriginal and I found myself more excited by the guests lead guitar spots than the rest of the band.
Get It Out is out now on all the usual streaming services now. You can find out more about Altitudes and Attitudes by checking them out on Facebook. They do also have a website which you can check out here but it is a little light and still under construction in many places.
Get It Out by Altitudes and Attitudes (MegaForce Records)