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REVIEW: Sound City Players - Real To Reel

REVIEW: Sound City Players - Real To Reel

By: Jeff Daily
Follow Jeff Daily on: Twitter
March 12, 2013

At this point in music history Dave Grohl is beloved. He's everyone's favorite Foo and he smashes the shit out of a drum kit with the best of them. When Nirvana came to a tragic end and Foo Fighters carried on "alternative rock," few would have guessed Grohl, the long-haired, goof grinning punk would be a respected elder statesman and now a documentary filmmaker. The album, put together by Grohl to accompany his film about the recording studio Sound City, is a hit and miss affair, but overall a fun jam. Sound City was a small studio in Los Angeles where Nirvana, Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac, and countless other "legends" made some excellent albums.

Grohl gathers a few famous friends, picks up some instruments (Grohl's on every cut), and rocks the tape machine for the soundtrack record. The highlight for me is Paul McCartney (with Pat Smear and Krist Novoselic) riffing on a thrilling (if throwaway) heavy beast called "Cut Me Some Slack." The best cut might be from Trent Reznor and his piece "Mantra." The tune also features Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and it makes me look forward to new Nine Inch Nails music.

Good recording studios don't have to be controlled by Apple ya know. Sometimes the right room and the right vibe can make an ok jam into a special listening pleasure. The rest of the album is sort of forgettable in that it sounds like a "90s" retrospective. This isn't a bad thing, but the tunes blend together after a couple listens, without many WOW moments. The analog recordings sound as warm as one would expect (especially the guitars), but the fun these musicians are having also pumps through the speakers on practically every song.

This album is more a document than a brilliant addition to any of the artist's catalogs, but its a decent tribute to a studio where some of the finest records of all-time were recorded.

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