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Devour the Day Devour Gus G.’s “I am the Fire”

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Gus G.’s new solo album, I am the Fire, is a Santana-Supernatural style-affair, which is to say, Gus works with a rotating roster of collaborators on the record. Which always sounds cool in theory, but never really works out, unless the listener and the artist just so happen to have the same exact taste in music. Take, for example, Slash’s self-titled solo album: sure, it’s pretty good when he’s jamming with Myles Kennedy or M. Shadows or Lemmy, but then there’s all this drek with Fergie and the eunuch from Maroon 5 and did I mention Fergie?, and so the damned thing might as well be an EP. The only real exception to this rule that I can think of is Dave Grohl’s Probot album, and that really worked out because a) Grohl had no commercial aspirations so he just made the kick-ass album he would have made when he was fifteen, and b) pretty much everything Dave Grohl touches turns to gold anyway.

Alas, Gus G. does not live under the umbrella of Grohl’s protection. And so the title track from I am the Fire, created in collaboration with the band Devour the Day, is a loser, mostly because it sounds a lot like Devour the Day, and Devour the Day are pretty bad. Their highest aspiration seems to be this century’s answer to Seven Mary Three or Candlebox. (I’m sure they go over huge with Breaking Benjamin fans.) And the video for the song actually exacerbates the problem, because once you’re forced to watch Devour the Day’s singer do the pee-pee dance while lip synching to ridiculous kitten poster lyrics like “money can’t buy honesty,” it becomes impossible to take the song seriously.

But you’re welcome to try.

I am the Fire comes out March 18 on Century. Hopefully the rest of it is better than this. If wanted to listen a dude as talented as Gus G. play mediocre hard rock, I’d listen to Scream.

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