Who is the band? What is their history? What motivates them?
“Julie Slick began playing bass at eleven years of age.” “In 1998, at age twelve, she joined the Paul Green School of Rock Music, and soon became the school’s first All-Star bassist.” “This led to an appearance in the award winning documentary, Rock School, as well as a role in several tracks on the movie’s soundtrack.” “By age sixteen, she had already performed across America and Europe with legendary musicians like Frank Zappa alumni Ike Willis and Napoleon Murphy Brock, Jon Anderson of Yes, Stewart Copeland of the Police, Ann Wilson of Heart, and Alice Cooper.” “Three years after graduating the School of Rock and while a junior at Drexel University working toward a degree in Music Industry, she toured the UK with Philadelphia icon Chuck Treece, founder of McRad.” “But her big break came six months later, in March of 2006, when she was invited to join Adrian Belew on stage with her brother, drummer Eric Slick, at the Knitting Factory in New York City for an impromptu version of Frank Zappa’s “City of Tiny Lites”.” “Little did she know that Adrian had been searching for “the perfect rhythm section” and that this chance meeting would lead to the formation of the Adrian Belew Power Trio.” “In May of 2006, Adrian invited Julie and Eric to his studio in Nashville to audition, and after two days of rehearsals, the trio were already out on tour by June, 2006.” Since that time, they have toured four continents, recorded two CDs, and continue to wow crowds internationally.” “Along with being an accomplished bassist whose influences include John Entwistle, Jack Bruce, John Wetton, Tony Levin, Chris Squire and Paul McCartney, Julie also graduated magna cum laude from Drexel and has produced several bands, including Cheers Elephant, The Jangling Sparrows, Sweatheart, Love Gravy as well her own projects” (Source: Julie Slick‘s MySpace, 2010).
1. Mela – Spacey synths and sax, then that cool bass wanders in as the tempo and momentum build into a Frank Zappa classic mix. There is enough of an ELP, Keith Emerson, feel to this one with its cool synths, not to divert into too much Zappa. But the guitar work is extraordinary. Keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering what’s next. The grinding guitar chords and that cool sax thrown in every now and again are perfect.
2. Many Laughs – A good solid bass line opens before synths and drums join in support. Interesting sounds and well mixed to produce that surround effect with everything coming at you from different sides of the room.
3. February – Slow, softly plucked guitar, piano and synths. Dreamy. You can almost see the February snow falling as you listen to this. That quiet, height of the season, between winter and spring, comes through so well on this track.
4. Mora – Drums and gripping guitar riffs. “Voices in my head”, childlike voices echo throughout this one. An almost sitar sounding guitar with synth and sound effects all around, More instruments seem to be added with each bar of the song. The strong bass keeping pace with all that is surrounding it.
5. Aphrodite – Grinding bass and drums building a bluesy rhythm and melody. Perfect for the Goddess of Love. The guitars have an other – worldly sound that really drives this one home.
6. Baron Aloha – Cool, almost tropical rhythm builds with screeching guitars and that solid bass supporting well. The echo effects are also nice. Almost a conga beat which really sounds great. Spacey, out of this world guitar driving the pace and power of the song.
7. Nothing to be Done – One of the longer tracks on the album opens with bass, drums and synths. Spacey, good background music for a film or a ‘nothing to be done’, relaxing day. Cool echoed guitar picking at the end of this one.
8. Choke – The shortest track on the album. Synths and echoed deep vocal sounds along with bass, synths, and cool Ultrabeat building a strong rhythm. Over too quickly.
9. Awoke – Reaching guitar and drums along with bass and synth effects. A cool grinding song like waking up on the wrong side of the bead. Cool guitar riffs.
10. Shadow Drip – At 6:26 minutes, the longest and most interesting track on the album. Cool echo effects and strong bass light this one up. Julie in all her glory. The synths effects are so cool.
11. Spice Trade – Nice spacey synths and slow acoustic with orchestration. Another one of my favorite songs on the album. Then the bass action sets in motion a driving rhythm. Very cool bass cuts with drums and violin like support.
12. The Rivalry – Rat a tat guitar bursts before the rocking melody kicks in with synth and drum support. This one rocks…faster than all the rest. The synth effects and bass are fantastic.
13. Cage Match – Patterned drums and wild guitar licks along with very cool synths in the background. You can feel the tempo and pulse envisioned in the song title. Another of the better songs on the album. The blistering guitar work is excellent.
14. Blood Blisters – Slow drums and grinding guitar. Different, unique sounds, setting Julie apart from many of the bassists I have heard in the past. Yes, this kind of bass and guitar work takes time and practice to develop.
Rating: 8/10 – Very good guitar and bass work. A real showcase CD for Julie’s incredible talents with synths bass and guitars. Different and intriguing. I mostly listen to lead guitar on the albums I buy, but this experience of hearing all the subtleties from Julie’s album will make me pay more attention to the bass work in the future.
Reviewed by Prof on June 23rd, 2010