If you’d told me back in 1991 that the bass player from Anthrax and the bass player from Megadeth would someday form a hard rock band after doing bass clinics together I’d say you were crazy. Just plain crazy, man. But alas, I’d be the one with egg on my face. Frank Bello from Anthrax and Dave Ellefson from Megadeth have indeed joined forces as Altitudes + Attitude. If you’re expecting speed metal mayhem like their main gigs in two of the “Big Four” speed metal behemoths you will be disappointed.
On Get It Out, the full-length debut from Bello and Ellefson, the guys stick to working class hard rock. It’s the kind of riff-heavy, melody-driven rock and roll that influenced them growing up. Band like KISS, Cheap Trick, Boston, and Judas Priest run through the DNA of this band; big chunky riffs, full-throttle vocals, and songs that make you want to pump your fist in the air and not care about tomorrow. It’s all about right now, man.
Get It Out isn’t breaking any new ground, and I don’t think that’s the point. This is Frank Bello and Dave Ellefson cutting loose and having a great time writing arena-ready rock. Think Foo Fighters with more metal muscle. One of the heaviest tracks hits you square in the kisser right out of the gates. Title track “Get It Out” has the caffeinated bruise of both main gigs here, but with more of a melody-driven chorus. Frank Bello does a great job of belting out vocals here with just the right amount of heart and punch. Who knew he was such a great singer? Not me. “Late” is the big single and it feels and sounds like a middle of the road rock single. Something you’d hear on AOR-rock, or in a movie trailer with Mark Wahlberg shooting his way thru enemy lines. It’s a rousing crowd-pleaser of a track.
From here things fade in and out. There’s chunky, jagged riff rockers(“Out Here”, “Booze and Cigarettes”, “Here Again”) and the more introspective tracks(“Talk To Me”, “Cold”, “Tell the World”), but one of the highlights is actually the instrumental “Leviathan”. It carries with it the heft of those old school instrumentals that would be included on the speed metal albums of yore. It’s Bello and Ellefson in their element.
Get It Out is Frank Bello and Dave Ellefson letting loose in the studio with some of their musician pals(and a who’s who of fretboard wizards.) It’s a great riff-heavy rock and roll record that’s sure to get a fist or two pumping.
7.3 out of 10
Last night my older brother, my son, and myself got a chance to see Altitudes + Attitude live at the Sweetwater Sound Performance Theater. Dave Ellefson and Frank Bello performed with Christian “Opus” Lawrence on drums and Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal on lead guitar. It was an amazing performance with a very down-to-earth Q&A afterwards hosted by Thom Hazaert. Seeing these guys live put a whole new perspective on them as musicians. Ellefson especially came across as a master of his instrument, as well as an extremely thoughtful and well-spoken guy. The songs from the album came across heavier and more fleshed-out live, while their covers of Cheap Trick’s “Hello There”, Ace Frehley’s “Rip It Out”, and KISS’ “Detroit Rock City” really put where they’re coming from into sharp focus. Those covers, for me, made the night.