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Ride The Lightning

The project is called The Thunder Group and it is aptly named.  The tracks on Ride The Lightning are slammin’, due to the fact that Mark Manley’s mighty, mighty bass playing is well… thunderous.  Manley tears it up on both fretted and fretless basses, sometimes at the same time, as he does on the live track, “Bass Mechanic”, when he breaks out his double-neck.  From the deep groove of Sinuendo, to the world music-tinged “Rain Forest”, from the organic and steamy trance piece, “Sex”, to the jaw-dropping live-in-the-studio performance of the title track, he never fails to impress.  And, writer that he is, there’s some really nice story-telling going on.  Check out the eerie opener, “Wilder Thing”, and the confessional “Garden”.  The politically charged “Peace Pill” combines the best of all worlds, great song writing and lyrics, and some wicked flamenco bass guitar.

Musicians adding to the rumbling fun include guitarist Jason Southard (the last winner of the International Jimi Hendrix competition, and six-string slinger with actor-singer Christian Kane); drummer Erik Rogan (of Beats The Hell Out Of Me); keyboardist/pianist David Loy; drummer Craig Washington; saxophonist Carl Coan; drummer Ryan Baker (Christian Kane); vocal artist Casebeer; and drummer Glen “Bono” Saunders (Hank Williams, Jr., Chuck Rainey); and there are even a couple of drum loops created by Bernard “Pretty” Purdie.

If you are a fan of the bass guitar, then Ride The Lightning is the album you’ve been waiting for.  If you plain just like hooky songs with great lyrics, this recording delivers that, too.  And the live-in-the-studio title song, featuring master improvisers Loy and Washington promises many stunning live performances to come…

Jay Scott

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